Latest articles


Crop advisor casebook: Zebra stripes in barley a result of herbicide carryover?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the November 5, 2019 issue of Grainews

Ken was driving by one of his barley fields at the end of May when he spotted a problem. His emerging barley crop seemed to be turning yellow, and when Ken pulled over to have a closer look, he was alarmed by yellow bands resembling “zebra stripes” on many of the plants. Ken, who also […] Read more


New barley breeding efforts aim for a replacement for AC Metcalfe

Breeders have recently focused their efforts on the craft brewers

Aaron Beattie is a barley breeder at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre. Beattie is looking for a replacement for AC Metcalfe. AC Metcalfe is a high enzymatic variety, so it’s suitable for large-scale brewers. A new variety, CDC Fraser, is also high in enzymes and offers more in terms of disease resistance and […] Read more



New malting barley variety acceptance an uphill battle

While the industry works to market new varieties, farmers seed the old standbys

Farmers choosing malt barley seed in the spring of 2019 would have seen CDC Copeland and AC Metcalfe at the top of the list of recommended varieties published by the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC). CDC Copeland was registered 20 years ago, in 1999. AC Metcalfe was registered in 1997. While the list includes newer varieties, barley […] Read more


Crop advisor casebook: Pigtailing barley presents a problem

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the July 16, 2019 issue of Grainews

Dwayne farms around 4,500 acres of red spring wheat, canola and malt barley near DeBolt, Alta. He gave me a call late last June because of a recurring problem in one of his barley fields. When visiting the field, I found some barley plants located in a concentrated area — around five acres — had […] Read more



Crop advisor casebook: Is a local lack of moisture injuring this barley?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the April 9, 2019 issue of Grainews

John contacted me in late May last year about his barley crop. The plants were coming up yellow in patches across the field. John farms about 2,800 acres near Whitewood, Sask., where he grows wheat, barley, canola and soybeans. It had been a dry spring and John thought environmental stress due to lack of moisture had caused the plant injury. […] Read more


Barley growers impressed with VRT results

Crops hit yield and quality expectations, and bring an easier harvest

Data collected by Decisive Farming from several farms across Western Canada in a program using variable-rate technology (VRT) to produce malting barley crops in 2018 showed considerable production gains over industry averages. Data collected from 17 farms, involving about 9,300 acres of malt barley crops showed on acres seeded with both variable-rate seeding and fertilizer technology an average yield of 85 bushels per acre, […] Read more



Crop advisor casebook: Why is this barley crop patchy in rectangular blocks?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the February 5, 2019 issue of Grainews

Jim, a Saskatchewan farmer, was unhappy with the establishment of his barley crop — he had expected a more uniform stand. When he contacted me the first week of June last year, Jim said plant populations in some areas of the field were thin, while others were thick and lush. The plants, which were at […] Read more


Decisive Farming offers data incentive

Alberta-based company recognizes malt barley production data has value

If you’re OK with sharing your data for research purposes, Decisive Farming is looking for malt barley growers across Western Canada interested in growing this year’s crop with variable rate technology. The Alberta-based company, providing a wide range of agronomic and farm management services, is actually offering a first-of-a-kind program to pay producers $4 per […] Read more



“Incredible” new barley variety

This new higher-yielding, six-row barley variety is on the road to certification

A new six-row hulled spring feed and forage barley variety should soon be in farmers’ fields. SR14501 — which will gain a trade name prior to commercialization — was developed by Alberta’s Field Crop Development Centre in response to producers’ requests for a barley with good lodging resistance, says barley breeder Joseph Nyachiro. “It is […] Read more


Crop Advisor’s Casebook: Barley blues. Why aren’t these plants growing faster?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the January 9, 2018 issue of Grainews

Thomas, who owns a 3,000-acre mixed dryland and irrigation farm near Magrath, Alta., asked me to visit his operation in early June. He wanted help identifying the weeds in three barley fields as well as advice on a herbicide package that would best fit his farm. He also mentioned the plants in one of the […] Read more