Variety Development

Project lead: Dr. Aaron Beattie, University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre 
Timeline:  2018-2023 
Total Funding:  $1,091,067 
Funders: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC): $545,532 
  Alberta Barley: $188,937 
  Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF): $178,286
  SaskBarley Development Commission: $113,312 
  Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI): $65,000


Both malt and feed barley are extremely important crops to Canada’s agriculture portfolio. Canadian malting barley generates billions in domestic government revenues annually in the form of product, income and corporate taxes on beer. Malt sold through export adds additional value to the Canadian economy. Canadian feed barley is also critical to the livestock and value-added industries. Demand from both these segments is expected to continue to grow in the future.

To prepare for and nurture this growth, it is critical that we continue to develop barley varieties with improved traits.

The University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre has an established record of breeding and releasing two-row barley varieties within Canada that have a large impact on producers and end users. This project will focus on making improvements to current two-row barley varieties to support current markets, while expanding breeding efforts into new classes, such as malting types for the craft brewing and distilling industry and coloured types for the food industry, which may provide opportunities for new barley markets to develop.

The overall goal of this work is to maintain barley as a viable crop within producers’ rotations. It also aims to provide value to maltsters and brewers through higher selectability and greater extract, and to the feed industry through higher protein and lower acid detergent fibre.