2021 Seeding Considerations


Opportunities for New Canadian Malting Barley Varieties

CDC Bow, AAC Connect & CDC Fraser

Canada’s barley breeders have developed a promising suite of new malting barley varieties such as CDC Bow, AAC Connect and CDC Fraser each with excellent agronomics and disease resistance. These new varieties are poised to succeed older, established varieties such as AC Metcalfe and CDC Copeland. They have very desirable malting and brewing characteristics, reinforcing Canada’s position as a supplier of premium quality barley and malt, and increasingly these new varieties are being accepted by domestic and international maltsters and brewers.

Click the link below to see the CMBTC's 2021 malting barley seeding considerations with regard to variety selection, yield potential, lodging and protein targets.

2021 Malting Barley Seeding Considerations



2020 Canada Barley Crop Year Video


Each year, the CMBTC hosts customers of Canadian malting barley and malt for new crop tours to see the barley near the end of the growing season and during harvest, meet the farmers that grow their barley, and the industry that delivers it. Given in the summer of 2020 we were not able to host a new crop tour, we put together this video to give customers a sense of the crop year, and have the opportunity to see some images of the 2020 Canadian malting barley crop and hear from some of the farmers.  Enjoy!


2020 Canada Barley Crop Year Video

See other videos at our CMBTC YouTube channel below.

CMBTC-Malt Academy YouTube Channel

Viral Beer Videos


Given we are all stuck at home these days, spend a few minutes enjoying some great beer videos!

Molson Canadian - Made from Canada

Molson Canadian - I am Canadian

Bud Light

Bud Light - Clothing Drive






2020 Barley Harvest webpage


In a normal summer, in partnership with our stakeholders, the CMBTC would typically host a new crop tour with customers from around the world.  During the tour, we would generally visit farms in Alberta or Saskatchewan, check out malting barley research plots, and visit other points along the value chain such as an elevator, a malt plant or a breeding centre.  Since it was not possible to do a physical tour this year, we created this web page to provide customers with a virtual tour of the 2020 western Canadian barley crop year and harvest.  Check it out and enjoy!

2020 Barley harvest webpage




Official harvest progress by Province:

  • As of October 13, Alberta barley harvest is estimated at 97.8% complete (source AB Ag).
  • As of October 12, Saskatchewan barley harvest is estimated at 100% complete (source SK Ag).
  • As of October 13 , Manitoba barley harvest is estimated at 99% complete (source MB Ag).



Official harvest progress by Province:

  • As of October 6, Alberta barley harvest is estimated at 94% complete (source AB Ag).
  • As of October 5, Saskatchewan barley harvest is estimated at 99% complete (source SK Ag).
  • As of October 6, Manitoba barley harvest is estimated at 99% complete (source MB Ag).

Canadian Beer Day


Its October 7th, which means its Canadian Beer Day!   Tip one back and check out the following videos posted on the Beer Canada You Tube channel.  In addition to this year's Canadian Beer Day video, see also videos that provide an overview of the malting and brewing processes, as well as a variety of beer related topics, featuring CMBTC staff members Andrew Nguyen and Aaron Onio. Cheers!!

Canadian Beer Day 2020

CMBTC Videos

Harvest progress update


Official harvest progress by Province:

  • As of September 29, Alberta barley harvest is estimated at 82% complete (source AB Ag).
    • South – 97.2%
    • Central – 81.7%
    • North East – 80.0%
    • North West – 63.0%
    • Peace – 44.3%
  • As of September 28, Saskatchewan barley harvest is estimated at 98% complete (source SK Ag).
  • As of September 29, Manitoba barley harvest is estimated at 97% complete (source MB Ag).

Harvest Progress Update


Official harvest progress by Province:

  • As of Sep 22, Alberta barley harvest is estimated at 66% complete (source AB Ag).
    • South - 93%
    • Central - 62.1%
    • North East - 52.8%
    • North West - 46.0%
    • Peace - 26.4%
  • As of September 22, Manitoba barley harvest is estimated at 95% complete (source MB Ag).
    • Southwest - 95-100%;
    • Central - 95-100%;
    • North West - 90%
  • As of Sep 21, Saskatchewan barley harvest is estimated at 86% complete (source SK Ag).



CMBTC Update – Malting Barley Harvest Ideas 2020


Western Canada is poised to harvest a large grain crop with most areas of the Prairies having received sufficient moisture this growing season. While some pockets have been too dry, most of the grain growing regions have received sufficient to excess amounts of moisture this season.  As harvest begins, the CMBTC has some considerations for producers of malting barley to help ensure their barley has the highest changes of selection as malt.

Use of Glyphosate, Desiccants on Malting Barley in Canada

Selectors and buyers of malting barley in Canada require that barley must not have been treated with pre-harvest desiccants, in an effort to uniformly dry the crop, or glyphosate products for controlling perennial weeds. Contracts with growers generally state that malting barley shall not have been treated with desiccants or other products such as glyphosate or saflufenacil.  Use of these products is not accepted by the malting barley industry in Canada due to the potential for compromised quality such as a reduction in germination capacity, reduced kernel size and lower test weight.

In Canada, the “Keep it Clean” program provides farmers with guidance on the proper use of crop protection products. The following statement is provided on the Keep it Clean  web site: Malt Barley – Glyphosate (i.e. Roundup), Saflufenacil (i.e. Heat) will not be accepted by grain buyers if treated pre-harvest.

Many Western Canadian buyers and selectors have technical staff to aid farmers with management decisions on how to achieve premium malt quality without using glyphosate, saflufenacil or desiccants, by applying specific practices such as early seeding, manipulating plant population to reduce tillering and increase uniformity, use of swathing, and choosing correct genetics for a specific growing area.  The can also provide guidance of how to dry down malting barley after harvest (see also below).

Drying & Storage of Malting Barley

With many areas experiencing higher than average precipitation this season, malting barley may come off with higher levels of moisture in some regions. As a result, an important consideration for farmers with malting barley will be drying and proper storing and monitoring of the grain to ensure quality does not deteriorate.  Generally speaking barley should be dried down to 13.5% moisture for storage or delivery into the system. If your barley has excess moisture levels (i.e. above 13.5%), it is at risk of heating, loss of germination and other issues such as mold and mildew during storage.  

How to dry your malting barley

  • If your moisture level is >13.5%, you should endeavour to bring the grain moisture down.
  • Do not store malt barley @ >14.5% moisture for prolonged periods of time. Fungi and bacteria grow more quickly on higher moisture grain.
  • In some circumstances, moisture will need to be removed from barley using driers.  The basic rule with malting barley is “low and slow” with air temperatures not exceeding 68C and grain temperatures not exceeding 42C.
  • Do not aerate when foggy or raining as moisture will accumulate on the surface of the grain potentially causing spoilage organisms to proliferate

Monitoring your barley after storage

The industry standard for germination energy in malting barley is minimum 95%, and good storage conditions can help maintain malting barley vigour. Heating, mold and mildew can also lead to barley being rejected for selection as malt.  Here are some tips to keep your barley in condition:

  • Run your aeration fans on cold days to cool (and eventually freeze) your bins. Cool and dry grain has greatly improved shelf life.
  • If air/heat is not possible in the bin to dry the grain, you may need to remove all or part of the grain from your bin to dry it, or at least cool it down, before putting it back in the bin.
  • Check your bin tops for moisture migration. A small bit of tough barley can ultimately spoil the whole bin if not addressed.
  • If you have concerns, you can submit a sample to your local malting barley buyer to check the germination level of your barley.