2018 malt barley quality…looking good

November 15, 2018

When the reports of snow fall in Alberta came during the first week of September, it was disheartening to say the least. In spite of a very dry summer, the malting barley crop in many key areas had fared well (with the exception of south western Saskatchewan and southern Alberta where drought had taken a severe toll).  The question on everyone’s mind when we woke up and saw the pictures from Alberta was: how much had been harvested?  When the weekly provincial crop reports came out, they estimated that 35% of Alberta and 65% of Saskatchewan barley was harvested.  By that time, Manitoba was pretty much complete.  What we know now is that while a lot of malting barley was lost due to the rain and snow, the portion that was already in the bin turned out to be very good quality.  The 2018 selected malting barley crop in Western Canada can be characterized, on average, as having higher protein than the past two years, excellent germination, high RVA, limited disease and a clean, light appearance.  The barley is surprisingly plump given the dry season, and test weights are also very good.  Unfortunately we did lose a significant amount of potential malting barley to the rain and as a result, supplies will be considerably tighter than 2017.