Category: Members Market Updates

Category: Members Market Updates

Barley Harvest Update

19/10/2022

Barley Harvest Progress Update – October 13, 2022

The 2022 crop harvest in western Canada is wrapping up, ahead of the average pace in Saskatchewan and Alberta, while Manitoba’s harvest is about 2 weeks behind normal. Generally, warm and dry weather at the end of August and through much of September on the Prairies allowed farmers to pull off much of this year’s crop without significant delays or quality issues resulting from poor weather, except in parts of Manitoba where a late start coupled with some rains and high humidity during harvest slowed progress. Precipitation in Saskatchewan in mid-September kept producers out of the fields for a few days, but many welcomed the rains after several weeks of dry weather. Some areas of the Prairies saw hard frost in mid-September however cereal crops were sufficiently advanced that neither the precipitation nor the frost is expected to have had a significant negative effect on malt barley quality. The barley harvest is now mostly wrapped up on the Prairies with a few pockets in east and west central Saskatchewan yet to be completed.

Alberta

Harvest progress continued to advance in the last week of September and early October with favourable weather conditions. Provincially 96.3% of the crops had been harvested as of October 4, similar to last year and well ahead of the historical 10-year average of 76.7%.  Well, below-normal precipitation in September allowed producers to work in the fields almost uninterrupted. Most of the barley has been harvested with yields estimated by the Government of Alberta (ASFC) at an average of 74.8 bushels per acre (4.02 tonnes per hectare), above the StatCan estimate of 71.5 bu/acre (3.85 t/ha) from their September 14 report. The absence of precipitation or significant frost events during harvest will help with the supply of good quality malting barley quality this year, much needed after last year’s drought. On September 20 ASFC reported the central region of Alberta had “significantly the highest barley quality region of the province with nearly 50 per cent expected at malt grade”.

While the dry harvest allowed producers to take the barley off in good condition, concerns are mounting over dry soil conditions in Alberta going into the winter. Precipitation will be needed this fall to help ensure fields have sufficient soil moisture for seeding in the spring of 2023.

Table 3: Alberta Surface Soil Moisture Ratings as of September 27, 2022

Source: AFRED/AFSC Crop Reporting Survey
Saskatchewan

The weather continued to cooperate for Saskatchewan producers through the end of September and into early October with over 90% of the barley crop combined as of October 3. The central and eastern regions of the province still have some crops to harvest, largely canola and flax, with most of the cereals complete. While overall average barley yields are significantly improved over the 2021 harvest, the southwest and west central regions struggled again this year with very limited rainfall. SaskAg pegs barley yields at 62.0 bu/acre or 3.34 t/ha, just above the 10-year average of 59.2 bu/acre (3.18 t/ha). StatCan estimate of barley yields is slightly higher at 64.1 bu/acre or 3.45 t/ha. Similar to Alberta, there is concern over soil moisture with cropland topsoil moisture in Saskatchewan rated as 28 per cent adequate, 41 per cent short and 31 per cent very short. Precipitation would be welcome ahead of winter. 

Manitoba

As of October 11, harvest progress for all crops in Manitoba is 79%, approximately 2 weeks behind the 5-year average of 89% complete by this time of year (week 40). Periodic rains and high humidity have slowed harvest progress and some crops were harvested tough to damp and had to be artificially dried. Killing frosts arrived in much of the western side of the province on the morning of September 22 and much of the province saw frost on September 27 but the damage is not expected to be significant. Unharvested cereals have seen some bleaching and staining due to the wet weather, especially those in the swath, with some quality downgrades in cereals expected. While much of the malt barley was harvested before the moisture in September, there are reports of some chitting in fields that were wet, often a carryover from the heavy rainfall earlier in the summer.

Harvesting AAC Connect at Wanesa, Manitoba, August 28, 2022. Good harvest weather this year allowed producers across the Prairies to get their crops off with limited interruption, benefiting malting barley quality.
Canada Barley Production & Quality Outlook

On September 14, Statistics Canada released their 2nd model-based crop production estimates for 2022 using satellite imagery to estimate yields. According to these latest figures, production of cereals, oilseed and pulses in Canada are up over 36% compared with last year when western Canada suffered a major drought. According to Statistics Canada, farmers chose to seed more wheat, in particular, this year with an area up 2.1 mln acres (838,000 hectares) or 12.8%, as well as more oats, which was reflected in lower seeded and harvested areas of other crops, with barley down 15% from 2021. But with significantly improved yields of 68.4 bu/ acre or 3.68 tonnes per hectare, barley production in Canada is projected at 9,427,840 tonnesan increase of 35.5% from 2021 and above the 5-year average of 8.871 mln tonnes.   

Table 5

In terms of output by province and region in Canada, Alberta barley production reached 4.83 mln tonnes, followed by Saskatchewan at 3.587 mln tonnes, Manitoba at 664,000 tonnes and eastern Canada seeing production drop this year to 322,000 tonnes. Despite a generally good growing season and adequate rainfall in a large area of the Prairies, the dry conditions in western Saskatchewan and southern Alberta pulled down average yields this year, with all of Canada estimated at 71.1 bu/acre or 3.83 t/ha, although some areas of central Alberta and eastern Saskatchewan saw exceptional yields this year.
Quality

Overall quality indications from the 2022 malt barley crop generally look good with low average moisture content, excellent germination energy, limited disease presence and very little pre-harvest sprouting.  The protein content is higher than average, while plump kernels and test weights are below average. The dry harvest in western Canada helped replenish short supplies of malting barley, however strong demand for feed grain will mean the malting industry will have to compete for supply with the livestock sector again this year.

CDC Fraser plot trial, St Albert, Alberta

Barley Market Perspectives – March 9, 2022

16/05/2022

BARLEY MARKET PERSPECTIVES

March 9, 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

  • According to major agriculture analytical organizations such as the USDA and the IGC, the global barley S&D is historically tight. With world ending stocks projected at 16.7 million (mln) tonnes at the end of 2021-22 according to the USDA, that would be the lowest stocks since 1983.
  • The war in Ukraine will impact the ability of both countries to export barley and other grains (corn, wheat) through the Black Sea for the foreseeable future. The two countries were projected to export 10.5 million tonnes of barley this year, almost a third of global exports.
  • With limited options to source barley before the northern hemisphere new crop, remaining supplies this year will have to come from Australia or possibly Argentina, although even the export logistics in these countries are full well into spring.
  • China’s announcement on Feb. 24 they will now accept imports of barley and wheat from all origins in Russia will undoubtedly result in greater feed barley exports from the Black Sea to China in future. Neither Ukraine nor Russia export significant quantities of malting barley. 
  • With tight barley supplies globally and recent geo-political developments, international barley prices have remained firm with French old crop feed barley rising above US $400 FOB in recent days compared with ~$300 at the beginning of 2022 and ~$250 early last August.   
Source: USDA

CANADA

On December 3rd, StatCan released its final estimates for area, yield and production of field crops in Canada for 2021.

  • Barley production estimated at 6.948 mln tonnes, including 345,000 tonnes in eastern Canada, smallest barley crop in Canada since 1967 (5.5 mln tonnes).
    • Harvested area pegged at 7.4 mln acres, the highest since 2008 (8.7 mln acres).
    • Average yields of 43.0 bushels per acre, the lowest since 2002 (41.5).
Source Statistics Canada; *Pulses include peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas.

Canada’s barley exports have been strong to date in 2021 in spite of the small crop, with Aug-Dec totaling 1.513 mln tonnes with China as the major destination. The majority of exports have been feed barley with a small amount of malting barley.

Source: Statistics Canada
  • Canada has been importing significant amounts of corn for the feed sector.  As of February 24, there had been over 1.8 mln tonnes of corn exported to Canada from the United States with another 1.6 mln tonnes of sales on the books. AAFC is projecting 4 mln tonnes of corn imports which would be the highest on record.
  • Canada will also import malting barley this year to supplement short supplies. Imports will come from origins such as the U.S., Europe and Australia. 

GLOBAL EXPORTERS

  • In its March report, ABARES (the Australian Bureau of Statistics) increased its Australian 2021 barley production estimate to 13.7 mln tonnes, the highest on record, up from 13.1 mln tonnes in 2020.
Source: ABARES

Last year (2020-21) Australia exported 8 million tonnes of barley despite a de-facto embargo on exports to China. Australian exports were redirected to Saudi Arabia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, among others.

Source: ABARES
  • Australia has also exported malting barley to some non-traditional destinations this year such as Mexico, Peru and Ecuador.  Exports are projected at 8.5 mln tonnes in 2021-22.
  • In spite of two successive strong export programs, Australia’s barley supplies remain healthy with carry out expected between 2-3 million tonnes at the end of the 2021-22 (estimates vary depending on the source).
  • Final estimates of Argentine 2021 barley production are 5.2 mln tonnes, the largest on record.  Total barley exports are projected at 3.65 mln tonnes, which would also be a record. With a large barley export program to China of over 2 mln tonnes, exports to traditional destinations such as Colombia, Ecuador and Peru for malting barley, and the Middle East for feed barley, have dropped significantly.    
  • EU barley exports between Jul 1 – Mar 6 totalled 5.460 mln tones, up slightly from the previous year.  With a smaller crop this year (51 mln tonnes vs 54 last year) both the USDA and the European Commission are forecasting EU barley exports down from 8.5 mln tonnes in 2020-21 to 7.5 mln tonnes in 2021-22, down, however based on the export pace to date that may be an underestimate.

CHINA

  • China’s 2020-21 barley imports (Oct-Sep) are estimated by the USDA at 12 mln tonnes, an all-time record.  All of the increase was in feed barley imports, with China generally taking 3-3.5 mln tones of malting barley annually. 
  • The USDA import forecast for the 2021-22 is 10.5 mln tonnes. With imports averaging 1.3 mln tonnes a month between Oct-Dec, this would seem an easy target, however with the disruption in the Black Sea, this may drop and China may have to look to the US and Argentina for additional corn supplies.
  • Corn prices on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange have rallied since the harvest low at the end of September of US $395 up to $450 per tonne in early March.
Source: USDA

BARLEY PRICES

  • Given the tight global S&D, barley prices have remained firm. Recent events have pushed those prices even higher with old crop French feed barley now quoted around US $400 FOB and US Gulf corn quoted at $365 FOB. New crop (2022) French feed barley is now estimated at US $350 per tonne FOB Rouen.
Sources: USDA; COCERAL

2022-23 OUTLOOK

  • AAFC released its first projections for 2022-23 supply and demand in January. The year over year changes in seeded and harvested area are not signficant, and with a return to average yields, the forecast is for barley production of 10.5 mln tonnes in 2022.  It is of note that the 2021-22 export forecast of 2.95 mln tonnes is likely on the high side by 300-400,000 tonnes, but with strong domestic demand carry out stocks of 300,000, the tighest on record, are likely in the ball park.
source: AAFC

Precipitation on the Prairies has been average to above average in Saskatchewan, below average in a lot of the major growing areas in Alberta, and a mix of average to below average in Manitoba.

  • COCERAL (an independent European agricultural trade association) is projecting EU barley area to be up slightly in 2022 to 10.75 mln hectares compared with 10.64 mln ha last year, driven by higher spring barley area, but production down to 51.5 mln tonnes (from 52.2) due to lower yields. Weather conditions have been favourable for crop development so far this winter with French winter barley rated 92% good to excellent, up from 83% a year ago. 
  • The trade has reported significant sales of 2022 crop French feed barley to China for new crop positions July forward.
  • The USDA released its first seeding estimates for 2022 with corn seeded area projected at 92 mln acres, down from 93.4 mln acres in 2021, losing area to wheat and soybeans. The 5-year average is 90.6 mln acres.

BEER

  • Canada’s beer sales have remained firm through the pandemic ending 2.4% higher year over year in 2021 vs. 2020.
  • Molson Coors reported annual revenue growth in 2021 with net sales up 6.5%, a significant turn around form 2020 when sales were down 8.7% during the pandemic. 
  • AB InBev reported an increase in the beer sales revenues in 2021, driven in part by a consumer shift to premium brands where revenues were up 20%.  Budweiser Brewing, Asia’s largest beer company by sales, said it plans to promore more high-end beer in the Chinese market having seen strong demand growth in this segment in recent years, now over 15% of the beer market.

BARLEY MARKET PERSPECTIVES – OCTOBER 4, 2021

02/12/2021

Market News 

– Both Russia and Argentina currently have barley export taxes in place. Russia increased its tax this week from US$31 to $35.30 per tonne on barley. In Argentina, the export taxes are US $36 on malting barley and $32.40 for feed barley.
– In its Sep. 10 report, the USDA estimated 2021-22 global barley carry out stocks at 17.4 mln tonnes, down from 21.4 mln tonnes at the end of 2020-21, and the tightest world barley stocks-to-use ratio in the last 15 years. 
– As of Sep. 28, the EU had exported 2.8 mln tonnes of barley, ahead of last year’s export pace at this time of 2.1 mln tonnes. Malt exports total 529,222 tonnes to date compared with 623,867 tonnes at this time last year. 
Since Aug. 1, Canada has exported 96,100 tonnes of barley, well behind last year’s pace of 310,900 tonnes by this time.
– On Sep. 16 the Buenos Aires grains exchange forecast Argentine corn production at a record 55 million tonnes. Argentina has doubled its corn output over the past 10 years. Meanwhile historically low water levels in the Parana River are making exports difficult.
– On Sep. 23, the Brazilian government suspended import taxes on corn. The second corn crop (safrinha), planted in April and harvested in Jul-Aug, was seeded late and suffered from dry conditions during the growing season, pushing production to 60 mln tonnes for the 2020-21 crop compared with 75 mln the previous year. Total 2020-21 Brazil corn crop is now estimated at 86 mln tonnes vs 102 mln tonnes in 2019-20.  
– In its Sep. 30 report, the USDA estimated US 2020-21 corn ending stocks as of Sep. 1 at 1.24 bln bushels, higher than the trade had expected putting pressure on prices. 

Supply & Demand Forecasts

In its September markets and trade report, the USDA released the following coarse grain production and trade forecasts:  Global 2021 barley production at 149.3 million tonnes, down 11 million tonnes from 2020 due to smaller crops in almost all exporting countries except Ukraine and Argentina. Canada 2021 barley production lowered to 7.8 mln tonnes from 8.8 mln tonnes a month earlier. Russia 2021 barley output reduced from 19 to 18 mln tonnes.  U.S. corn production increased to 380.9 mln tonnes, up 20 mln tonnes from last year, using yields of 176.2 bu/acre, just 0.2% below the record. China corn production at a record 273.0 mln tonnes, up 5% from 260.7 mln tonnes last year. 
In terms of trade, in its September report the USDA increased global barley trade slightly from 33.1 to 33.5 mln tonnes, but down 1.5 mln tonnes from the 2020-21 estimate of 35 mln tonnes which was an all-time record trade year for barley globally. With respect to 2021-22 global barley demand, imports are projected lower in China, North Africa and Iran in particular. With respect to 2021-22 global barley suppliers, the EU and Australia are projected to have the largest export programs at 7.3 and 7.0 mln tonnes respectively, followed by Ukraine and Russia at 6.0 and 5.0 mln tonnes respectively. Canada’s barley exports are forecast at 2.0 mln tonnes. The USDA is projecting global corn trade to increase from 183.8 mln tonnes to 192.4, with increases in exports projected from Brazil, Argentina and Ukraine. Ukraine corn exports are forecast at a record 32 mln tonnes in the coming year, up from 23.6 mln in 2020-21, putting it almost on par with Brazil.

Prices

– Although trade has been quiet, barley prices in the EU and Black Sea have been firming due to a lack of sellers as Ukraine focuses on corn exports and Russia continues to increase its export tax, now over US $35 per tonne. French malting barley prices continue to strengthen on strong export sales and quality issues as a result of rains during harvest.
– Barley prices remain firm in Western Canada as the livestock sector continues to rely on limited domestic feed barley availability and await arrival of US corn purchases, while malting and grain companies look to secure malting barley requirements from a historically small pool of supply.
– After falling to $5.10 per bushel on Sep. 9, U.S. corn futures have rallied above $5.40/bu as of Oct. 1 as U.S. farmers report disease issues and yields below expectations, Brazil and Argentina continue to be dry, and grain exports through the Gulf resumed after hurricane Ida had shut down many facilities.
– China’s Dalian January corn futures have seen a small rally of late after declining steadily from its peak of US $440 on May 12 hitting a low on Sep. 17 at $375. Currently the futures are sitting around $385. 
*Feed grain bids feedmills, feedlots, **Elevator bids
***All information sourced from Cargill, Viterra, North West Terminal, CMI Terminal, Louis Dreyfus Price and Data Quotes and Stat Publishing,****Farmer’s net cash return at Wpg elevator

2021 Canada Harvest Progress Update

Most of the barley crop in Western Canada is now in the bin. The combination of this summer’s drought followed by rain during harvest in some regions has resulted in significantly constrained malting barley supplies this year. Early quality indications suggest malting barley protein levels will average above 14% which will create headaches for maltsters and brewers in the coming year. Other parameters such as test weight, plump kernels and germination energy have been remarkably good.

Barley Market Perspective

01/10/2021

Global Barley Report – September 15, 2021
2021 PRODUCTION & SUPPLY
Argentina: After a very dry period, recent rains in Argentina have boosted crop prospects. Local Argentine analysts are now forecasting 4.5-4.8 mln tonnes of barley output.
Australia: Despite smaller seeded area in Australia (down approx. 5%), a good growing season has barley output projections rising with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABARES) projecting a 12.5 million tonne barley crop compared with 13.1 mln tonnes in 2020. Harvest will begin in October and run through December.
Europe: On August 12, French analyst Strategie Grains reduced the EU barley production estimate by 2 million tonnes to 53 million tonnes due to wet weather in the run-up to harvesting in France and Germany while high temperatures in June lowered yields in Poland and northern Europe. 
US: US barley production is forecast by the USDA at 106 million bushels (2.3 mln tonnes), down 36% from 2020. If realized, this would be the lowest production since 1900.
World: In its September 10 report, the USDA pegged 2021 world barley production at 149.4 million tonnes, down 10.3 million tonnes from 2020 due to smaller crops in almost all exporting countries except Ukraine and Argentina.
The USDA also forecast global corn production at a record 1.198 bln tonnes, up from 1.117 bln, an increase of 81 mln tonnes or 7.25%, with record crops projected in China, Brazil, Argentina and Ukraine, and the second largest crop ever in the U.S. of 380 mln tonnes, up 20 mln tonnes from 2020 (highest was 384 mln tonnes in 2016). World wheat output is also estimated at is highest ever at 780 mln tonnes, with record crops in China, India, Ukraine and Argentina.
CANADA
On September 14, Statistics Canada released updated 2021 crop production estimates for Canada (view it here).  Barley output is estimated at 7.14 mln tonnes based on yield models using satellite imagery taken in August. On September 8, StatCan released its July 31 stocks report, with Canadian barley stocks at their lowest level on record at 711,100 tonnes, down 25.7% from a year earlier. The decrease was attributable to both lower on-farm (-19.9% to 551, 300 tonnes) and commercial (-40.5% to 159, 800 tonnes) stocks. Deliveries of barley off-farm increased 17.4% to 5.1 million tonnes, contributing to the decrease in on-farm stocks with barley exports up 54.8% year over year to 4.6 million tonnes (includes processed malt). Barley used for feed fell 10.6% year over year to 6.1 million tonnes as of July 31. 
TRADE
On September 6, Reuters news reported that Chinese importers cancelled feed barley purchases from the Black Sea in recent weeks due to weaker than expected domestic demand and expectations for a large corn crop. Ukraine exported 2.8 million tonnes of barley in July and August from their record 2021 barley crop of 10.5 million tonnes. EU barley shipments reached 2.275 million tonnes since July 1, 20% ahead of last year. Major destinations include China, S. Arabia, Jordan and Turkey. Argentina reports having sold for new crop 162, 350 tonnes of malting barley and 1,108,000 mln tonnes of feed barley for January-April 2022 positions.   In its September 10 report, the USDA projected 2021-22 global barley trade at 33 mln tonnes, down 865,000 from the previous year due primarily to China and North Africa/Middle East, but still a historically strong barley trade estimate.   
PRICES

Feed barley prices on the Prairies rose significantly during the month of August with prices in Lethbridge reaching over $9.00 per bushel. Prices have since eased slightly as corn begins to arrive in southern Alberta and producers harvest their crops. Rains have downgraded some wheat to feed adding to feed grain supplies, however with the lowest barley stocks on record as of July 31 according to StatCan, prices will remain supported throughout the year.

*Feed grain bids feedmills, feedlots, **Elevator bids
***All information sourced from Cargill, Viterra, North West Terminal, CMI Terminal, Louis Dreyfus Price and Data Quotes and Stat Publishing,****Farmer’s net cash return at Wpg elevator 
Globally both feed and malting barley prices remain strong. With rains at harvest impacting quality and strong demand for French malting barley, spreads have reached near record levels of US $50 per tonne between feed and malting barley prices in France.
2021 HARVEST PROGRESS UPDATE As of September 7, Alberta barley harvest was estimated at 56% complete. Average yields of 40.2 bushels per acre compared with the 5-year average of 72.2. As of September 6, Saskatchewan barley harvest was estimated at 66% complete. Average yields of 38.0 bushels per acre compared with the 5-year average of 67.4. As of September 6, Manitoba barley harvest was estimated at 90% complete. Average yields of 48.1 bushels per acre compared with the 5-year average of 69.8.2.

Harvest Progress Report – Sept. 3, 202

16/09/2021

September 3, 2021 – Crop conditions in Western Canada deteriorated through July and August due to severe drought which affected crop growth and development. Now rainfall is creating more concerns as farmers harvest their crops. The combination of drought and now wet harvest weather in some regions have significantly affected the size and quality of the western Canadian barley crop this year.
 
Statistics Canada projected barley production in their August 31 report at 7.8 million tonnes based on satellite imagery from July. However dry, hot weather persisted well into August and many in the industry believe Canada’s barley production will likely end up closer to 7 million tonnes.
 
The historically small crop as well as significant quality issues will make selecting malt barley a challenge for the Canadian maltsters and exporters. South of the border the US barley crop is also struggling with North Dakota and Montana also severely affected by drought conditions.

ALBERTA

In Alberta, barley harvested acreage is struggling to get to 40% complete and yields are averaging below 40 bushels per acre. Cool temperatures and wet conditions are now stalling harvest progress. Quality issues are widespread with light test weight, thin kernels and high protein count. All regions will register well below average yields.
 
South Region (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Foremost)

This region of the province was the most significantly affected with the extreme heat and lack of rainfall. Most of the barley has been harvested with yields averaging 20 bushels (this region often produces barley crops of 100 bushels per acre). Some of the barley harvested is light weight, thin and the protein levels range from 15% to 19%. There will not be much quality malt barley selected from this area. 
 
Central Region (Rimbey, Airdrie, Olds)

Precipitation and cool temperatures, while welcome, will do very little for this year’s crop other than delay harvest. This area is projected to have higher yielding barley fields than other regions in the 50 to 60 bushel per acre range. Some combines have had to sit idle for a week to ten days waiting to resume harvest. The wet conditions will produce some chitted barley. 

Combining AAC Connect, Penhold, AB, August 25, 2021
North East Region (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)

This region had some rain events this summer which helped crop growth, however it is now experiencing precipitation and cool temperatures. The rainfall is delaying harvest and increasing the amount of barley that will be degraded due to chit. Less than 20% of the crop has been harvested and the yields are averaging in the 40–50 bushel range. 
 
North West Region (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Camrose, Athabasca)

This region also had some rains to support crop development through the summer months, but wet conditions and cool temperatures are delaying harvest. Early barley yields are averaging 45 bushels per acre, although there is some optimism that the yields will improve as harvest advances. Harvested acres are hovering slightly over 20%. 

Harvesting CDC Copeland, Edmonton area, August 25, 2021
Peace Region (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie)

The region is marred by wet conditions and cool temperatures which are not helping the crops dry down. Barley harvest is a less than 10% complete. Yields are estimated to be in the 30 bushel per acre range. The wet conditions will lead to some of the unharvested barley to be graded feed quality.
 
SASKATCHEWAN

In spite of recent rains across many parts of the province, harvest continues to progress quickly with barley harvest across Saskatchewan now 50% complete. The effects of the drought this summer were most damaging in the southwest part of the province. In the last 3 weeks of August, rainfall has caused harvest delays with farmers using the down time to dry their cereal grains. There have also been hail events in the past three weeks that will impact barley production. 
 
Southwest Region (Maple Ridge, Swift Current)

Many producers in this region have completed harvest, for some it was the lack of grain to harvest that permitted them to finish early, although recent rains have delayed the remaining harvest. Most crop damage this past summer was due to drought stress, along with strong winds that dried the soil and more recently hail damage. The area has also been dealing with a large grasshopper problem and producers are trying to harvest as quickly as possible before more damage is caused. 
 
Southeast Region (Weyburn, Moosomin, Regina)

Barley harvest is quickly approaching 50% complete. There was some crop damage the past few weeks due to heavy rains which also produced hail that flattened barley fields. Some producers that harvested early reported decent yields of 60-70 bushels in localized areas. The quality of unharvested will have been impacted by recent rains.

East Central Region (Yorkton, Melville)

Very little harvest progress has been made in the past two weeks as persistent rains have prevented combines from entering the fields. The weather is forecast to remain dry for the next week. Harvest progress is close to 30% with yields reported from 30-50 bushels per acre. Some usable malt barley has been harvested with a protein band from 13.5-16%. Hailstorms caused damage to some crops this past week. 

Hail Stones in the Yorkton area from August 30
West Central Region (Rosetown, Biggar, Kindersley)

The crops in this region suffered due to the intense summer heat and lack of rain. Many crops were either cut for green feed or simply left in the field as there was not much to harvest. Over 40% of the crops are harvested with barley yields being reported in the 20 bushel per acre range.  
 
Northeast Region (Tisdale, Melfort, Carrot River)

Persistent rains and cool temperatures have halted harvest. The crops are generally in poor condition and yields will be well below average. Some wet barley has been harvested and is being dried. Like other regions hail has damaged some crops in recent weeks. The forecast for the coming week is warm and sunny which will allow harvest to resume.
 
North West Region (Lloydminster, North Battleford)

Pesky rains have slowed down harvesting barley in this region, it is now about 25% complete. The temperatures are set to improve this weekend and next week moving into more seasonal average in the low 20°C, which will help dry the crop down. Harvest comprises of some dry barley, but most is damp and must be dried. 
 
MANITOBA

Barley harvest is mostly wrapped up with about 95% in the bin. Yields are variable ranging between 20-80 bushels per acre. Little to no fusarium damaged kernels in samples so far. Some downgrading is expected on unharvested crops from the recent periods of rain, although the moisture was welcome in many areas to recharge the soil. 
 
Southwest Region (Brandon, Virden, Wawanesa)

Barley harvest is largely complete in this region. Some areas received just enough rain during the growing season to produce a decent crop with a few farmers reporting barley yields faring relatively well up to 70-80 bushels per acre, while for others, severe lack of rain resulted in barley crops of 20 bushels or less. There will be some decent quality malting barley available from southwest Manitoba this year.
 
South/Central Region (Winkler, Morden)

Barley harvest is basically wrapped up in the Red River Valley. Yields have been reported from 30-80 bushels per acre. There were good pockets of malt barley that was harvested before the rains. 
 
Northwest Region (Dauphin, Swan River)

Wet weather is delaying harvest in this region, with the barley harvest now around 60% complete. Yields are below average for all crops.

Contributed by Pat Rowan

Crop Progress Report – June 24, 2021

05/07/2021

WESTERN CANADA

Decent rains in the first two weeks of June benefitted the crops and provided temporary relief to regions that were dry. The dry conditions through many parts of the Prairies have been a major concern this growing season. Now the Prairies will see hot dry weather accompanied by windy conditions for the remainder of June, which will have a significant influence on crop development. Many areas will have temperatures around 30°C-35°C, coupled with high overnight temperatures and strong winds, which will cause rapid depletion of topsoil moisture. Southern Alberta and Southwest Saskatchewan are desperately in need of rain to prevent irreversible damage, and in many areas crop yields have already been impacted. There is some precipitation in the forecast this week in these areas but it will be imperative for this moisture to materialize. The Peace Country is also extremely dry and will need rain very soon, as are parts of Southern Manitoba. General rain events of 25 mm (1 inch) will be required for each two-week interval through the end of July to prevent further yield losses in the drier areas, and there are already expectations of below-trend yields for these regions.

ALBERTA

The Central and North Central regions of the province have been the most favoured with precipitation in the last month, and this has greatly benefitted their soil moisture reserves and prospects for good crops. By contrast the Southern Region has been virtually void of rain in the last 30 days and the soil reserves are depleted. Soil moisture conditions are also very poor in a large area of the Peace Region, with the area around Dawson Creek having only received 35 mm (1 1/4 inch) of rainfall total for the May/June growing period.

Southern Region (Lethbridge, Strathmore, Foremost)

There has been a general lack of moisture in this region. Since April 1 only 48 mm (2 inches) of precipitation has fallen. Last year, the region received 109 mm (4 1/3 inches) of moisture in June and so far this June has seen only 8 mm (1/3 inch) of rain. The hot dry weather and strong winds have resulted in significant moisture depletion, with plants shutting down in some fields. For many the winter wheat crops have been devastated. More hot temperatures have entered the region this week and the forecast for rain is not promising for the remainder of the month. It looks like less than traditional yields will be the norm for this region.

Central Region (Rimbey, Airdrie, Olds)

Most parts of the region have received good rains in the last month which, coupled with some warm temperatures, has prompted good crop growth. However, some of the southern parts of the region will need rain soon. Spring seeded cereals are mostly in the tillering stage of crop development.

North Central/Northern Region (Barrhead, Edmonton, Camrose, Vermilion, Lloydminster)

Most of this region has benefitted from good rains during the growing season – 25 mm (1 inch) of rain has fallen in June, after the region received 66 mm (2 1/2 inches) of moisture in May. This precipitation, combined with some warm temperatures, have the crops progressing well. However, there are still some fields that have excessive moisture like last year.

Peace River Region (Fairview, Grande Prairie)

Soil moisture levels across much of the Peace Region are down, with a large area in the Central Peace estimated to be near a 50-year low. The crop ratings have dropped from 80% to 70% for the “good to excellent” category. Hot, windy conditions are forecast for mid-week with temperatures reaching up to 35°C, which will certainly stress the crops. Rainfall will be needed soon to avoid any further yield losses. There are some rains in the forecast for mid next week.

SASKATCHEWAN

The province has been the benefactor of some good rains in the first two weeks of June which has permitted the topsoil conditions to improve and advance the crop development. The southeast region received the most moisture, with Moosomin topping 110 mm (4 1/4 inches) while in the northwest, Lloydminster received 37 mm (1 1/2 inches). This caused flooding on some farms but overall, the rains were a benefit. Crop conditions across the province range mostly from fair to good. The strong winds and heat entering the province this week will add some stress to the crops in areas that are short on moisture, in particular the southwest.

Southwest Region (Swift Current, Maple Creek) After good rains in May, ranging between 25-50 mm (1 to 2 inches) the rains have been less generous in June, with rainfall ranging between 6-15 mm (1/2 inch). The crops are limping along and will require some rain very soon to prevent irreversible damage.

Southeast Region (Regina, Weyburn, Moosomin)

This region has received 75 mm (3 inches) in the Regina area and 110 mm (4 1/4 inches) in the Moosomin area. The crops are advancing quickly in this region because of the good moisture conditions and the heat. The barley development is in the 5-leaf stage. Rains will be needed again by early July to push the crop forward.

North Central Region (Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Tisdale)

The recent rains and warmer temperatures have been a great benefit to the crops in this region. The major drawback is that strong winds continue to plague the area, depleting soil moisture and interrupting the spraying operations. The barley crop is in the 5-leaf stage.

West Central Region (Kindersley, Rosetown, Saskatoon)

This region received spotty rainfall in the past two weeks. The Saskatoon area had rains of 38 mm (1.5 inches) and the Rosetown/Kindersley area only received 10 mm. Overall, the moisture was a benefit to the crops that were struggling due to dry crop conditions. Additional rains will be required by month end to maintain good crop development. The barley is at the 5-leaf stage.

Northeast Region (Yorkton, Melville)

Some areas of the region reported enough rainfall to allow for runoff, while others indicated what they received was hardly enough to counter the wind and heat during the week. The rainfall ranged from 12 mm (1/2 inch) to 50 mm (2 inches). The moisture was hugely beneficial for most farms in the region as the rains permitted some of the crops to recover from recent dry conditions. The heat and strong winds entering the region this week will quickly deplete the moisture. Crop conditions are very good and warm temperatures and a possible rain event this week would advance crop development nicely. Most barley fields are rated either “good” or “excellent” and the barley is at the 5-leaf stage.

MANITOBA

There have been some decent rainfall events this month, however the weather continues to be highly variable and a combination of hot temperatures and strong winds both contribute to the depletion of the topsoil moisture levels. The abnormally dry weather pattern cycle of expanding dryness has put the crops at risk especially in the southwest corner of the province. More rain will be needed soon.

Southern, Central Regions (Winkler, Morden, Brandon)

The rainfall this month has ranged from 25 mm in Morris, 50 mm in Winkler and 92 mm in the Brandon area. In most areas the crops are moving forward, however the hot windy conditions are stressing the crops. More rain is needed in the next 10 days. Some crops may be maturing quicker than normal and moving into reproductive stages faster than expected due to drought stress. The barley is in the 6-leaf stage.

Northwest Region (Dauphin, Swan River)

The region has enjoyed some good rainfall, ranging from 50-70 mm on average in June. Spring cereals across the region are moving into the stem elongation stage, leafing out, and the rows are closing. Cereals are generally in “good to excellent” condition as they have been better able to withstand the challenging spring conditions. Some wheat fields in the Dauphin area are yellowing from excess moisture due to high rainfall amounts the previous week.

Crop Progress Report – June 8, 2021

30/06/2021

The rains at the end of May were welcome on the Prairies, with the amounts ranging from 25 cm (1 inch) to 100 cm (4 inches). The month of May was truly variable when it came to temperatures with daytime highs reaching  30°C and corresponding night time temperatures in the low single digits. There were also frost scares, but fortunately the cereals survived without significant damage. Now June is coming in hot and dry in many areas with 30°C plus daily highs in much of the Prairies, and record highs of 38-40°C in the Red River Valley this past Friday, which is well above the normal temperatures for this time of year. And a constant throughout the seeding and early growing season over the past years is the ever-strong arid wind that causes soil depletion and crop damage. There are some exceptions to the rule such as central Alberta where temperatures have been cooler than normal and rains adequate. These areas will require some warmer weather to advance the crop. Looking forward it will be critical that widespread soaking rains develop in the next one to two weeks on the Prairies to avoid yield reductions in the drier areas.   

ALBERTA

Alberta was mostly dry this past week with strong winds and unseasonal high temperatures which depleted topsoil moisture. The area around Vulcan has been dry and needs immediate rain to avoid major impact on yields. The central and northern areas have received rains, however the temperatures have been below normal which has slowed down crop development. Flea beetles have arrived and spraying operations have commenced.

Southern Region (Lethbridge, Strathmore, Foremost)
This region had an early start to the seeding season with some fields seeded in the first week of April. The crops look good, however the blistering hot temperatures of last week combined with the strong winds led to erosion of topsoil and moisture will have to be replenished shortly to avoid impacting the crop yields. Rains are forecast for mid-week which if they come to fruition would be ideal to move the crop development forward. The moisture ratings are 90% good to fair with a few fields in the excellent category. We will require the rain this week to push more fields in the good category.

Central Region (Airdrie, Rimbey, Olds) 

This region has had good rains and are forecast to get additional precipitation this week. The moisture conditions are over 20% excellent, 75% good to fair and 5% poor. The barley is in the three to four leaf stage and farmers are spraying for flea beetles. Like last year this region suffers from below normal temperatures. The area requires heat. Normal temperatures for this time of year are in the low 20 °C, unfortunately the daytime temperatures are in the mid-teens and nighttime temperatures are in the mid to low single digits.

Northeast Region (Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)

Barley is in the two-leaf stage. There are rains forecast for this week which would push the moisture conditions to over 90% good to excellent. This area is not lacking in moisture – what it requires is warmer temperatures to move the crop forward. Flea beetle activity is increasing and the farmers have commenced spraying when they can get into the fields.

Northwest Region (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc)

Barley is in the three to four leaf stage with 25% of the fields sprayed for flea beetles. The region is generally wet with more precipitation forecast for the entire week. This is another region that has had below normal temperatures and will require some heat to move the crop forward. Like last year, daytime temperatures are in the mid-teens. The crop needs some warmer temperatures to advance crop growth.

Peace Region (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie)

Crop development is modest as the region has sufficient soil moisture with 90% rated fair to good and 5% excellent. These numbers should improve after this week’s rains. Similar to the central region heat is required to move the crop forward. Daytime temperatures only average in the mid-teens and nighttime temperatures are continually in single digits which slows down crop development.

SASKATCHEWAN

The May rains from two weeks ago got many crops germinating/growing quickly. This past week there was excessive heat with temperatures scaling into the high 30 °C. The heat was accompanied by savanna type winds which played havoc with spraying operations and depleting topsoil moisture. Fortunately there are rain events forecast for most of this week in the northern regions of the province. Here again the flea beetles have appeared and are a major issue especially in the northern parts of the province. The frost that the province had some ten days ago did not inflect much damage on the crop. Overall, not much for re-seeding because of the cool weather, but a bit did happen in the last ten days in northern geographies. The forecast rain events are needed to help alleviate dry conditions that are a concern in many areas.

Southwest Region (Swift Current, Maple Creek, Assiniboia)

This region registered some limited rainfall in the last half of the month of May which provided good germination and crop emergence. The recent weather conditions have turned dry with no precipitation and strong winds which have reduced topsoil moisture. More rain will be needed relatively soon to reduce any negative impact on yield potential. The topsoil moisture rating show 60% adequate, 30% short and 10% very short. Rain events are forecast for this week which would favorably move the crop forward. The strong winds of the past week have played havoc with spraying operations.

West Central Region (Rosetown & Kindersley)

The region had some May rains that helped the crops to germinate and emerge. This past week strong winds and warm temperatures eroded some of the topsoil moisture and rain will be needed to recharge the topsoil. The forecast for this week is optimistic, there are rain events scheduled for the entire week. Good precipitation would go a long way to improve crop conditions. Topsoil moisture ratings are 55% adequate, 33% short and 12% very short.

North Central Region (Prince Albert, Tisdale)

The region has had good moisture conditions and benefitted from some light rains in late May which helped the crop emergence. The growth has moved forward with warm temperatures in the past week. Spraying has been a challenge with the windy conditions, however due to the infestation of flea beetles the spraying will have to resume as soon as the conditions permit. More rain events are forecast mid-week and into the weekend. The barley crops are in good condition.

Southeast Region (Regina, Weyburn, Moosomin)

Dry conditions this past week along with wind and temperatures into the mid to high 30 °C depleted topsoil moisture. Although the crops were off to good emergence and growth, rain is needed to sustain the crop. It is forecast to rain all this week which would be a major positive impact on crop development. Like other regions, the flea beetles are ever present and spraying operations are going when the windy conditions abate.

Northeast Region (Melville, Yorkton)
In the past few weeks, this region has experienced the best and worst of what Mother Nature can offer. They had some snow and frost events, which fortunately did not cause damage to the cereal crops, followed last week by extremely windy and hot conditions which caused a reduction of topsoil moisture. The crops are advancing quickly as the soil had moisture from earlier rains and promoted good emergence. A four-day rain event is in the forecast this week. This would greatly benefit crop development for the region.

MANITOBA   Every region had temperatures drop below freezing the May 24 May long weekend, down to -5 °C for several hours in some areas. Fortunately, the damage was minimal. This past week saw blistering temperatures reaching 40 ° plus in the southern sections of the Red River Valley. The combination of heat and strong winds are not a favorable combination for growth development and just adds stress to the crop. Rains are needed in all regions to replace the drop in topsoil moisture.

Southern Region
Hot and dry throughout the region last week with temperatures reaching a record 40 °C for this time of year in the Winkler and Morden area. Other areas had the temperatures in the high 30 °C accompanied by strong winds which stressed the crops. Rain is needed and soon. Some areas did receive some precipitation over the weekend, but more is required. The forecast is encouraging with rain potential for mid-week.

Central and Northern Region (Dauphin)

With the heat and excessive winds this week, much of the moisture was lost from last week’s rain in the top one and a half inches of soil. The older cereals are advancing well but some of the later seeded crop is showing heat stress. The entire region will need rain again soon. There is rain in the forecast for the entire week which will greatly benefit the crop growth. For the limited moisture the crops have received since seeding, they are looking good overall. Spraying for flea beetles has gone into full swing as this has become the priority for farmers.

Contributed by Pat Rowan

Crop Progress Report – May 21, 2021

This report may not be reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part without permission of the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre.  

Significant seeding progress has been made across the Prairies, this past week. As most of the West was dry and there have not been many interruptions to slow farmers from planting the crop. Most of the barley acres have been seeded in the southern and central regions of the West. Most regions seeded in a limited amount of subsoil moisture sufficient to get the crops to germinate. Fortunately, there have been some scattered rain events benefiting many regions and more moisture is forecast throughout the prairies for the next four days which will be well timed to advance the newly seeded barley crop.

ALBERTA
A first spring rain event showered most of the province the week of May 10 bringing 10 to 40 mm (1 1/2 inches) of much needed precipitation. The recent moisture will help promote good crop development to the seeded crop and enhance the subsoil and surface moisture levels throughout the province except for the northeast region which had not registered any rain events to date. The central regions are 70-80% complete and the northern regions are 60-70% complete barley seeding. Now what is needed to move crop development along would be some warmer temperatures throughout the province.
 
Southern Region (Lethbridge, Strathmore, Foremost)
The barley crop is progressing well in this region with much of the crop up or emerging. Hard winds earlier in the week took a toll in some areas, but they have received some timely rains and are forecast to receive additional moisture this weekend. Presently there is a snowstorm hitting the region with concerns over the impact of the cold snap on crops.
 
Central Region (Rimbey, Airdrie, Olds)
This region received much needed precipitation and is scheduled for rain events next week which would further support crop development. Seeding is progressing well and should be completed by month-end. The overall soil moisture conditions are rated good to excellent. The area needs some warmer temperatures and an end to the sub-zero overnight temperatures that have plagued this area since the start of seeding.
 
North Central/Northern Region (Barrhead, Edmonton, Camrose, Vermilion, Lloydminster)
Rains fell over the western half of this region, however, the eastern section was dry and requires some much-needed precipitation, there is rain in the forecast for next week. Many farms are still challenged with the issue of wet fields, a carryover from last year’s excessively wet conditions.  
 
Peace River Region (Fairview, Grande Prairie)
Much-needed precipitation fell in most areas in the past week with reports of up to 25 mm (1 inch) falling in the northern half of the region. Warmer temperatures are needed to promote growth. Barley seeding is advancing rapidly and the soil moisture levels are rated 80% good to excellent. Progress has been very good in most of the region except for the south part of the region where there are reports of standing water and very wet conditions on heavier soil, a remnant of the heavy rains this region received last summer and fall. Warm temperatures would benefit the area.
 
SASKATCHEWAN
Seeding is well underway in the province with the southern region finished, the central region at 70 to 80% complete, and the north is 50 to 60% complete. The major issue is that the temperatures have been cold and some regions suffered below zero temperatures from four to eight hours last night. It is hoped that the damage will be limited. Some of the crops are stressed due to lack of moisture, strong winds, cold and frost which has caused some barley fields to turn yellow. It will take a few days to assess the damage done to the barley. Most regions are forecast to receive some type of moisture this weekend a combination of snow and rain. Heat will be needed to move this crop forward after the moisture events.
 
Southwest Region (Swift Current, Maple Creek)
This region has finished seeding and the barley has emerged, the concern for this area is that it is snowing presently, and the snow/rain is to persist over the weekend. Below zero temperatures are forecast for tonight and the weekend. There is no assessment on potential damage due to these cold temperatures. Heat will be needed to move this crop forward after the moisture events. The snow/rain moisture is to continue over the weekend as well as below zero overnight temperatures.

Kindersley, Saskatchewan May 20, 2021
Southeast Region (Regina, Weyburn, Moosomin)
Seeding is over 80% completed and the area has received some moisture. The forecast predicts more throughout the weekend and well into next week. Hopefully the rain events will materialize as this would advance the crop development.
 
North Central (Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Tisdale)
This region has been extremely dry, especially the area from Saskatoon to Prince Albert. Rain events are forecast for the next seven days, the moisture would be welcome as the crop is stressed due to the lack of precipitation. There was sufficient sub-soil moisture to germinate the crop, but it requires rain now to advance crop development.
 
Northeast (Yorkton, Melville)
This region is over 85% completed for barley seeding. It had been very dry and presently it is snowing. The forecast for the next 72 hours is a combination of snow & rain. The moisture is appreciated. There is more rain events forecast for later in the coming week. Like the other regions, warmer weather would benefit crop development.
 
MANITOBA
This past week the province enjoyed above normal temperatures with a few days getting above 30 degrees Celsius. This warmer weather helped speed up the seeding and germination of the seeded acres. Lack of rainfall, throughout the province had been a major concern for crop development, however rain late this week brought 25 mm (1 inch) to most of the southern and central regions of the province.
 
Southern Regions
This region is 90% complete seeding. A combination of no rain and savanna like winds were depleting whatever moisture that was in the soil, however in the past 48 hours most of the region received 25 mm of rain (1 inch) and there is more rain, in the forecast, for the weekend, which would be a great boast to the crop growth. 
Barley field in Wawanesa, May 20, 2021
Central/Northern Regions
The warmer weather this past week has spurred on the seeding in these regions. Good rains in the last 48 hours and forecast for more will aid crop development. Seeding is around 75% complete and should be done by month-end.
 
Contributed by Pat Rowan

Crop Progress Report May 7, 2021

29/06/2021

This report may not be reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part without permission of the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre.  

General seeding has begun in most of the prairies, and although the conditions have not been ideal, farmers were eager to commence the seeding season. A large portion of the West lacks moisture and the temperatures remain below normal. Most regions have adequate moisture for the barley crop to germinate but require general rains to recharge the subsoil moisture. Currently there is some precipitation in parts of the western prairies which will be very welcome, but timely rains will be a must in May and throughout the growing season to promote good crop development.

Canadian barley exports from August 2020 to April 2021 are 3.1 million tonnes shipped to date according to the Canadian Grain Commission. Exports should reach over 3.5 million tonnes this crop year with China the major buyer taking over 90% of export shipments to date. This large export program and strong domestic usage will result in a carryover of less than one million tonnes, and has underpinned barley prices over the past 6 months. The strong prices have been a signal to grow more barley acres, which is reflected in the StatCan projections of farmer intentions to seed 8.613 million barley acres this crop year, compared with 7.561 million acres in 2020. This would be the largest seeded acreage in the past 12 years. This number will likely end up lower as surveys were conducted in early March, and since then crops like canola and wheat have seen a significant run up in prices. Many farmers report they have simply kept their regular crop rotation this year.

ALBERTA General barley seeding has started in most regions. Many areas will be looking for a general rain event in the next two weeks to promote good crop growth. The southern region and the southern tier of the central region started seeding a little earlier than normal and the northern tier is getting going near their normal start time. Alberta Agriculture reports that as of May 4th, 15.4% of barley had been seeded across the province.

Southern Region (Lethbridge, Strathmore, Foremost)

Barley seeding is advancing quickly in this region. As some farmers started seeding the first week of April, many have already finished. Recent rains have slowed seeding in some areas though the moisture is welcome and the remaining barley area is expected to be finished in coming days. Early seeded barley is already turning green as there was sufficient moisture to germinate the crop.     AC Metcalfe field seeded April 7 south of Lethbridge   Central Region (Rimbey, Airdrie, Olds)

This region began seeding a little earlier than normal years. It has seeded 15-20% of their barley acres in generally good conditions. Subsoil moisture is adequate and while the area is currently experiencing some precipitation which may delay seeding, the moisture will be welcome. 

North Central/Northern Region (Barrhead, Edmonton, Camrose, Vermilion, Lloydminster)

Continued cool conditions have kept producers from getting underway with seeding. East of Vegreville, towards Vermillion all sloughs were full of water and wet areas in fields had moist soils. Some farmers were doing field work to get rid of excess soil moisture (harrowing, light cultivation) but indicated its been too cool to seed. Last year many acres in this area where not seeded or abandoned due to excessive moisture so soil recharge is in place. Warmer, dry weather forecast for next week should allow general seeding to start.

Peace River Region (Fairview, Grande Prairie)

This region is just getting started this week. There is decent subsoil moisture to get the crop germinating. Current precipitation may delay seeding for a few days, but warmer drier weather forecast for next week should allow producers to advance seeding quickly.

SASKATCHEWAN

All regions have started seeding their barley acres, with the southern areas having started earlier due to drier conditions. According to Saskatchewan Agriculture, as of May 3rd, 11% of barley had been seeded, with total crop seedings estimated at 9% compared to 7% a year earlier. Topsoil moisture is below normal levels in most areas with 44% of areas qualified as short and 14% as very short. As is historically the case, it is expected that a large percentage of barley seeded area will remain in malt varieties this year.

Southwest Region (Swift Current, Maple Creek)

Approximately 20-25% of the barley is seeded in this area. They had been getting some spotty rain over the past week that delayed seeding somewhat, although the moisture was welcomed.

Southeast Region (Regina, Weyburn, Moosomin)

This area started seeding at the normal time of year and already have 50% of the barley acres seeded to date. Moisture conditions are deficit and rain will be required by month-end.

North Central (Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Tisdale)

This region started seeding at the end of April and now have around 20% of the barley acres seeded. There is sufficient sub-soil moisture to geminate the crop, however rain will be needed in the next few weeks.

Northeast (Yorkton, Melville)

This area is just getting started which is the norm to commence seeding i.e. the first week of May. Low over night temperatures have kept the soil cool. Soil moisture is adequate for germination but the region is generally moisture deficient and will need rain in the near future.

MANITOBA

Weather conditions have permitted farmers in the southern regions of the province to get an early start on seeding barley this crop year, although generally cool soil conditions have meant seeding is still a little behind average. According to the Manitoba Crop Report issued May 4th, seeding of all crops was 18% complete compared with the 4 year average of 21% and only 9% in 2020.

Southern Regions

These areas started seeding a little earlier than normal and are estimated to be over 60% complete their barley seeding. A welcome rain last weekend and sufficient sub-soil moisture will ensure the crops germinate, however overall conditions are dry and rain will be needed by month end.

Central/Northern Regions

General seeding is getting underway in the central and northern regions, although some producers have held off further north due to cool conditions. With the forecast for warm and dry conditions, next week should see significant progress.

Contributed by Pat Rowan

MALTING BARLEY SEEDING CONSIDERATIONS FOR 2021

23/02/2021

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 that are poised to succeed established varieties AC Metcalfe, CDC Copeland and AAC Synergy.  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.

YIELDS

New Canadian malting barley varieties have significant yield improvements over their processors. The provincial seed guides indicate yields among the new varieties are approaching the most widely grown feed barley variety CDC Austenson. 

LODGING

In many environments, new Canadian malting barley varieties have improved standability with good to very good lodging resistance compared with older varieties.  As a result farmers may be able to boost fertilization rates.

Note: In environments where conditions combined with agronomic management (high rates of nitrogen fertilizer) are favorable for lodging, new cultivars may still lodge. 

PROTEIN

Over the years, farmers have been told that to be selected, protein levels in malt barley should be kept low. But in today’s market, partly due to growing exports, higher protein levels are often acceptable. The North American malting and brewing industry is generally looking for protein between 10.5-12.5%, while off-shore markets like China are looking for higher protein levels ranging from 11.0-13.0%. If producers are growing malting barley without a contract, it is likely to go to for export where demand is for higher protein.

As a result, if a farmer typically has lower protein levels in malt barley, they may be able to boost yield with added nitrogen without pushing protein levels beyond the selectable range. And as new varieties tend to have protein content 0.5-1.0% lower than AC Metcalfe, they may be able to handle additional nitrogen application without exceeding acceptable protein levels for malt.

Desired Protein Ranges BY END USER
Market Protein
China Adjunct Brewers 11.0-13.0%
N. Am & Export Adjunct Brewers 10.5-12.5%
All Malt/Craft Brewers 10.0-11.5%

Note: Producers should talk with an agronomist to ensure appropriate fertilizer rates to avoid lodging and meet target quality parameters such as protein.

Benefits to Farmers

New Canadian malting barley varieties offer important agronomic benefits to producers and are increasingly accepted by domestic and international maltsters and brewers. By choosing to grow a malting barley variety, producers ensure they have access to an additional 2.5 million tonne market place which generally offers a premium of $0.50-1.00 per bushel over feed barley.

Sources of Information

To find the most up-to-date information for each variety, refer to your province’s seed guide to find data and seed distributors. Variety selection should consider yield, agronomic and disease indicators that align with farm-specific needs.

See also the CMBTC’s recommended list for the list of barley varieties that have the greatest potential to be selected for malting.

Note: Producers should talk to their local maltster, grain buyer, seed grower, or contact your provincial grower association or the CMBTC, to discuss which varieties are most suitable to grow in your region.

The CMBTC recommends that producers have a contract when growing malting barley, particularly newer varieties.

Crop Protection Products

Farmers should refer to the Keep it Clean campaign regarding acceptable crop protection products for malting barley. Pre-harvest desiccants and glyphosate are not accepted by the malting industry. Newly registered plant growth regulators in Canada may be accepted by some end-users, but farmers should check with their grain buyer before using these products.