Seed World

New National Barley Cluster Launched

Harvesting of barley plots at AAFC Brandon.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) announced a new Canadian National Barley Cluster, a significant initiative aimed at advancing barley production in Canada. With a value of $9.6 million over five years, this Cluster will drive research efforts to enhance the competitiveness and resilience of the Canadian barley industry.

More than just a financial commitment, the Barley Cluster represents a united front in securing the future of the barley value chain. Administered by the Canadian Barley Research Coalition (CBRC), the new Barley Cluster will fund research projects that advance feed barley, barley genetics, agronomy, disease resistance and sustainability to make it a more resilient and profitable crop for Canadian farmers and end users.

“Barley provides a high-quality grain to many industries like the livestock sector, while malting barley supports the Canadian brewing industry,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This research will help producers incorporate climate-resilient barley crops into their operations to increase the profitability of their farms.”

“Barley is an important crop on my farm and on grain farms across the country,” said Cody Glenn, CBRC Chair and farmer from Climax, SK. “We are really pleased to have this long-term research funding that will help keep barley a profitable and sustainable option in our crop rotations.”

AAFC is investing up to $5.25 million through the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, an initiative under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Additionally, over $4.3 million will come from producer and private organizations across the country. These allies include:

  • Alberta Grains
  • Beef Cattle Research Council
  • Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute
  • Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance
    • Atlantic Grains Council
    • Grain Farmers of Ontario
    • Producteurs de grains du Québec
    • SeCan
  • CBS Bio Platforms
  • Manitoba Crop Alliance
  • Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley)
  • Western Grains Research Foundation

“The Canadian barley industry must look to the future and ensure barley is a competitive crop choice for farmers in terms of yield, pest and disease resistance and crop quality,” said Jill McDonald, CBRC President and SaskBarley Executive Director. “Research conducted through this Cluster will help us meet these challenges head on by building on the advances we made in the previous Cluster and ensuring barley can remain productive and sustainable.”

Founded in 2020, CBRC stands as a testament to collaboration and innovation, uniting Alberta Grains, SaskBarley and Manitoba Crop Alliance in a shared mission to elevate western Canadian barley through long-term research investments.