Quality of Western Canadian malting barley 2017 - Barley production

2. Barley production

Annual statistics

The total area planted with barley in Western Canada in 2017 was 2.219 million hectares, indicating a 10% decrease compared to the 2016 acreage (Table 2.1). The production of barley in Western Canada in 2017, estimated at about 7,516,400 tonnes, was about 10.2% lower than in 2016 (Table 2.1). The lower barley production in 2017, compared to 2016, was related to a decline in area seeded with barley and reduced barley yield. The average barley yield in 2017 is estimated at 69.8 compared to 73.9 bushels per acre in 2016 (Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 001-0017).    

Barley production in Alberta (including the northeastern part of British Columbia), Saskatchewan, and Manitoba decreased by 12%, 7%, and 19%, respectively, compared to last year. Figure 2.1 shows the annual barley acreage and production in Western Canada since 2007.  In 2017, the area seeded with barley was about 23% lower than the 10-year average; the production of barley was 11% lower than the 10-year average (2007 to 2016).

Table 2.1 Yearly comparison of barley seeded area and production in Western CanadaFootnote1
Seeded area Production
2017 2016 2015 2007 to 2016 average 2017 2016 2015 2007 to 2016 average
million hectares million tonnes
Manitoba 0.107 0.146 0.162 0.219 0.438 0.540 0.566 0.681
Saskatchewan 0.941 1.002 0.971 1.133 3.135 3.375 2.863 3.117
Alberta and British Columbia 1.170 1.318 1.380 1.538 3.944 4.457 4.357 4.680
Western Canada 2.219 2.465 2.513 2.887 7.516 8.372 7.786 8.489
Canada 2.336 2.586 2.641 3.056 7.891 8.784 8.226 9.012

Figure 2.1 Barley production and barley seeded area in Western Canada from 2007 to 2017

Graph:Malting barley tonnes produced and hectares seeded,2007-17.Details below
  • Details
    Annual production and area seeded to malting barley for 2007 to 2017
    Year Seeded area (million hectares) Production (million tonnes)
    2007 4.182 10.254
    2008 3.577 11.209
    2009 3.308 8.924
    2010 2.598 6.984
    2011 2.460 7.307
    2012 2.835 7.488
    2013 2.709 9.748
    2014 2.248 6.702
    2015 2.513 7.786
    2016 2.465 8.372
    2017 2.219 6.920
    10-year average 2.890 8.480

Barley is a versatile crop grown for malting, food, and general purposes (feed and forage) across the Canadian Prairies. This year in Alberta, general purpose barley accounted for 48.4% of total barley seeded area compared with malting barley at 49.5% (Fig. 2.2). In Saskatchewan, the majority of seeded area (76.5%) was planted with malting barley varieties (Fig. 2.2). In Manitoba, about 46.6% of barley seeded area was allocated to malting varieties and 47.9% to general purpose varieties (Fig. 2.2). Overall in Western Canada, malting barley accounted for 60.8% of seeded area in 2017 compared to 56.2% in 2016; general purpose barley accounted for 31.8% of seeded area in 2017 compared to 37.3% in 2016. Food barley continued to occupy a relatively small percentage of seeded area in each province, although this year the area seeded with food barley was higher than last year (1.3% in 2017 vs 0.6% in 2016).

Figure 2.2 Distribution of barley classes as a percentage of total area seeded with barley in each province and overall in Western Canada in 2017

Map:Total area seeded with barley in each province and overall in Western Canada 2017.Details below
Data Source: Sask Crop Insurance, Alberta Ag Financial Services Corp, Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation, and BC Crop Insurance
  • Details
    Distribution of barley classes as percentage of total area seeded to barley in three Western Canada provinces in 2017
    Province Malting Food General Purpose Not specified
    Alberta and British Columbia 49.5 1.7 48.4 0.4
    Saskatchewan 76.5 0.4 9.3 13.8
    Manitoba 46.6 3.8 47.9 1.7
    Western Canada 60.8 1.3 31.8 6.1

In 2017, CDC Copeland and AC Metcalfe continued to dominate the portfolio of malting barley cultivars being grown in Western Canada, representing about 80.8% of total area seeded with malting barley (Table 2.2). For the second consecutive year, the area seeded with CDC Copeland (48.76%) significantly exceeded the acreage seeded with AC Metcalfe (32.04%). The third most popular variety in 2017 was AAC Synergy whose acreage has continuously increased since 2014. The area seeded with Newdale, Bentley, and CDC Meredith continued to decrease. The area planted with several recently registered two-rowed cultivars, including CDC PlatinumStar, CDC Bow, AAC Connect, CDC Clear, CDC Fraser, CDC Aurora Nijo, and Lowe remained relatively small in 2017, together accounting for about 0.8% of area seeded with malting barley varieties in Western Canada (Table 2.2). 

The production of six-row malting barley continued to decline. In 2017, the six-row cultivars occupied only about 4.85% of the total area seeded with malting barley compared to 5.67% in 2016.  Legacy, Celebration and Tradition remained the top three six-row varieties (Table 2.2).

Table 2.3 shows the distribution of malting barley cultivars in each province as percentage of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada in 2017.  The production of two-row cultivars dominated in each province. In Alberta and British Columbia, CDC Copeland was the most popular variety; whereas in Saskatchewan, AC Metcalfe and CDC Copeland dominated the acreage seeded with malting barley. Compared to Alberta and Saskatchewan, the area seeded with malting barley in Manitoba was relatively low. In 2017, the most popular cultivars seeded in Manitoba were CDC Copeland, AAC Synergy, Celebration and AC Metcalfe (Table 2.3).

Table 2.2 Distribution of malting barley cultivars as percentage of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada

Data source: Sask Crop Insurance, Alberta Ag Financial Services Corp, Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation, and BC Crop Insurance

Two-row malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada
Variety 2017 2016 2015 2014
CDC Copeland 48.76 44.70 35.38 29.81
AC Metcalfe 32.04 34.20 38.50 38.87
AAC Synergy 7.43 5.19 0.84 0.21
Newdale 2.27 3.07 5.23 5.69
Bentley 1.84 2.71 3.35 2.37
CDC Meredith 0.72 1.84 5.24 9.81
CDC Kindersley 0.49 0.91 1.70 0.95
CDC PolarStar 0.44 0.93 1.44 2.05
CDC PlatinumStar 0.38 - - -
CDC Bow 0.26 0.01 - -
Harrington 0.14 0.04 0.16 0.27
AAC Connect 0.11 0.01 - -
Merit 57 0.06 0.20 0.67 0.65
Cerveza 0.04 0.04 0.02 0.03
Major 0.02 0.13 0.43 0.75
CDC Clear 0.02 - - -
Merit 16 0.01 0.18 - -
CDC Fraser 0.01 - - -
CDC Aurora Nijo 0.01 - - -
Lowe 0.01 - - -
Merit - - 0.24 -
CDC Kendall - 0.08 0.16 0.21
Other 0.13 0.09 0.19 -
Total 95.16 94.32 93.54 91.67
Six-row malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada
Variety 2017 2016 2015 2014
Legacy 3.21 3.17 3.25 4.45
Celebration 0.79 1.17 1.31 1.14
Tradition 0.42 0.63 0.90 1.27
CDC Yorkton 0.13 0.11 0.22 0.33
CDC Anderson 0.09 0.10 0.07 0.03
Lacey 0.06 0.11 0.14 0.25
Stellar ND 0.04 0.12 0.15 0.50
Robust 0.04 0.09 0.16 0.23
CDC Battleford 0.04 0.09 0.13 0.11
Excel 0.01 0.04 0.12 0.10
Other 0.01 0.03 0.00 -
Total 4.85 5.67 6.46 8.41

Table 2.3 Distribution of malting barley cultivars as percentage (%) of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada in 2017

Data source: Sask Crop Insurance, Alberta Ag Financial Services Corp, Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation, and BC Crop Insurance

Two-row malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in Western Canada
Variety Alberta and British Columbia Saskatchewan Manitoba
CDC Copeland 25.69 22.38 0.69
AC Metcalfe 8.86 22.65 0.52
AAC Synergy 4.06 2.72 0.65
Newdale 0.96 0.84 0.47
Bentley 1.34 0.33 0.17
CDC Meredith 0.44 0.24 0.04
CDC Kindersley 0.31 0.13 0.05
CDC PolarStar 0.02 0.42 0.00
CDC PlatinumStar 0.00 0.38 0.00
CDC Bow 0.21 0.05 0.00
Harrington 0.09 0.05 0.00
AAC Connect 0.11 0.00 0.01
Cerveza 0.04 0.00 0.00
CDC Clear 0.00 0.00 0.02
CDC Fraser 0.01 0.00 0.00
CDC Aurora Nijo 0.01 0.00 0.00
Lowe 0.01 0.00 0.00
Other 0.17 0.03 0.01
Total 42.32 50.23 2.61
Six-row malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in each province
Variety Alberta and British Columbia Saskatchewan Manitoba
Legacy 0.37 2.79 0.05
Celebration 0.00 0.20 0.59
Tradition 0.00 0.09 0.34
CDC Yorkton 0.07 0.06 0.01
CDC Anderson 0.08 0.00 0.01
Lacey 0.03 0.00 0.03
Stellar ND 0.00 0.00 0.04
Robust 0.01 0.00 0.03
CDC Battleford 0.04 0.00 0.00
Excel 0.01 0.00 0.00
Total 0.60 3.13 1.10
Total malting barley cultivars, % of area seeded with malting barley in each province
Province Alberta and British Columbia Saskatchewan Manitoba
Total malting 42.92 53.36 3.71

Recommended malting barley varieties for 2018 to 2019

The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) in collaboration with its member organizations and other industry groups produces an annual Recommended Malting Barley Varieties List which is intended as a guide to assist producers in the selection of varieties for seeding in the coming year.

Two-row malting barley varieties
Variety Market comments
CDC CopelandFootnote2 Established demand
AC MetcalfeFootnote2 Established demand
AAC SynergyFootnote5 Growing demand
AAC ConnectFootnote3 Under Commercial Market Development
CDC BowFootnote2 Under Commercial Market Development

Notes: CDC PlatniumStarFootnote3 and CDC PolarStarFootnote3 are currently closed-loop varieties. For contracting opportunities contact Prairie Malt - Cargill Biggar. Marketing opportunities remain for the varieties BentleyFootnote3 and NewdaleFootnote4 in certain areas.

The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre and its members recommend:

  • For contracting opportunities, contact your grain company representative, local elevator operators, malting companies, or the representative seed company foot noted.
  • Talk with your local malting barley buyer about opportunities in your area to grow and market two-row and six-row malting barley varieties.
  • Use certified seed to ensure varietal purity, reduce disease incidence and increase the likelihood of selection for malt.
Six-row malting barley varieties
Variety Market comments
LegacyFootnote4 Limited demand
TraditionFootnote4 Limited demand
CelebrationFootnote3 Limited demand

New varieties in development

The following varieties have been registered with Canadian Food Iinspection Agency and are undergoing seed propagation. Both varieties have been pilot scale tested at the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre and exhibit good quality characteristics suitable for all malt and/or adjunct brewing styles.

New varieties
Variety Comments
CDC FraserFootnote2 Two-Row - Undergoing seed propagation
LoweFootnote2 Two-Row - Undergoing seed propagation
Date modified: