Variety Development 

Project lead: Dr. Ana Badea, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Brandon Research and Development Centre
Timeline:   2018-2023
Total Funding:  $1,685,804
Funders: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC): $842,902 
  SaskBarley Development Commission: $300,000
  Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF): $277,394 
  Alberta Barley: $151,600 
  Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI): $82,780
  Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA): $31,128


Barley is a versatile crop grown for malting, feed and food across Canada.

In order to increase the growth of this crop in western Canada it is critical to continue to develop improved varieties adapted for the growing conditions and offering ideal end use qualities.

This project aims to develop improved two-row covered malting barley varieties and two-row hulless food barley varieties for western Canada.

The barley breeding program at the Brandon Research and Development Centre is based on a consistent breeding pipeline with diversified populations and trait variation to produce elite germplasm and improved malting and food varieties. It has access to a variety of resources that will reduce the time required to breed new varieties, including greenhouses and growth chambers, a winter nursery, and disease nurseries to screen exotic material and elite breeding lines. It also employs some of the most advanced breeding technology available today, including double haploid production and molecular/genomic-assisted breeding, which allows for early generation screening, shortened breeding cycles and increased breeding efficiency.

The overall aim of this project is to replace or improve on barley varieties that are currently grown in western Canada, through better protection from biotic and abiotic stresses, higher yields and greater marketability. Ultimately this will increase profitability for producers and end users.