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Bentley Barley Worth The Wait

Bentley has arrived. The new two-row, rough-awned multi-purpose barley variety (previously known as TR05669) has been in the making for more than a decade. By all accounts, Bentley has been worth the wait.

In trials, Bentley yields about 10 per cent more than AC Metcalfe. Patricia Juskiw, a plant breeder at the Alberta Field Crop Development Centre in Lacombe, says Bentley could net producers an extra six to 10 bushels an acre depending on growing conditions.

Bentley has a long list of other strengths. It matures in about the same time AC Metcalfe and has plump kernels. As a malting variety it’s well suited to non-scald areas across Western Canada. Its malting qualities include low protein, high extract and good protein modification and friability. As well, Bentley’s diastatic power and alpha amylase are similar to CDC Copeland and Harrington.

Combined with its high grain yields, Bentley has high forage yields and promises to be a good multi-purpose variety across the Prairies. In non-scald areas, it is expected to be an excellent multipurpose barley.

“Bentley is good news for Alberta barley. It’s good for maltsters and it’s good for the livestock industry,” Juskiw says.

Licensed in 2008 to Canterra, Bentley is generating excitement among seed breeders, growers and maltsters. Commercial scale testing of the variety will be completed this year. Most malting and feed barley growers will be able to obtain Bentley in 2011.

Bentley barley was developed through the Alberta/Canada Barley Agreement. The program is funded by the Province of Alberta, the Government of Canada and check-off dollars from the Alberta Barley Commission.

The barley checkoff of $1 per tonne is deducted from producers’ payment at the point of sale. Barley purchasers are, by law, responsible for collecting and submitting the fee.

Terry Bullick is a communications consultant for Alberta Barley Commission. Would you like to submit a short report about an exciting project your organization is funding with checkoff dollars? Please contact the editor, Jay Whetter. See page 2 for his phone number and email address.

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