Variety Development 

Project lead: Dr. Raja Khanal, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa Research and Development Centre
Timeline: 2018-2023
Total Funding: $1,041,101
Funders: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC): $564,562 
  Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA): $380,400
  Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI): $28,639


There is a demand for barley in eastern Canada. However, barley can be a challenge to grow in the region for a number of reasons. A lack of locally adapted varieties pose agronomic challenges and lower yields in comparison to other crops. Plant diseases, including susceptibility to fusarium head blight (FHB) which leads to a high concentration of deoxynivalenol (DON) in the grain, reduce quality and challenge market acceptance.

Therefore, higher-yielding, FHB-resistant, and good quality barley cultivars are needed for the region.

This project aims to help make this happen by developing barley varieties in two- and six-row types with higher yield, improved resistance to FHB and good standability over current varieties. It will also evaluate lines from western Canada and other breeding programs for suitability and adaptation to eastern Canada with FHB resistance and low DON accumulation.

The outcome of the project will be new barley varieties with higher yields and better resistance to FHB as well as other emerging diseases, which will result in increased profitability for producers, increased competitiveness of barley among other cereal crops and decreased input costs.