Barley Harvest Annual Report 2022

Summary of Barley Production and Quality of Western Canadian Malting Barley

Prepared by Marta S. Izydorczyk, Ph.D. and Tricia McMillan, M.Sc.

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Barley Harvest Annual Report 2022

In western Canada, the total area seeded with barley was 2.761 million hectares in 2022. The total barley production is estimated at 9,666,000 tonnes, approximately 46% higher than last year. This year’s favourable growing conditions resulted in an estimated barley yield of 70.5 bushels per acre (BPA) which is higher than the 10-year average yield (64.7 BPA).

CDC Copeland and AAC Synergy were the predominant cultivars of malting barley in western Canada but the area seeded with CDC Copeland continued to decline. The popularity of newer varieties (AAC Connect, CDC Fraser and CDC Churchill) increased noticeably in 2022, whereas the area seeded with AC Metcalfe continued to decline.

The favourable growing conditions in 2022 had positive effects on the quality of malting barley. The average level of barley proteins (12.3%) in 2022 was considerably lower than last year (13.2%). 2022 barley exhibited an excellent average germination energy of 99% with no water sensitivity. The average 1000 kernel weight was 45.0 g, which is close to the 10-year average (45.3 g). The newer varieties with kernels larger than AC Metcalfe and CDC Copeland contributed to the overall high average kernel weight. The average test weight of 2022 barley was 66.7 kg/hL, which is higher than last year (64.8 kg/hL), and equal to the 10-year average (66.7 kg/hL). The average plumpness of barley was 93.8%, which is lower than last year (96.1%), but higher than the 10-year average (93.3%). The majority of barley grown in 2022 was generally very sound with average RVA values above 120 RVU.

Overall, the malting quality of barley selected in 2022 was very good. Careful processing resulted in well-modified malt with adequate levels of enzymes (diastatic power and α-amylase). Wort was characterized by satisfactory levels of soluble proteins, free amino nitrogen (FAN), β-glucans, and viscosity. A lower concentration of grain protein in 2022 barley contributed to about 1.5% higher malt extract levels compared to 2021.

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