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Cattle in Pasture

Managing Malt Genetics for Feed End-use

Funded by: 


Alberta Barley Commission


Khalil Ahmed PhD., P. Ag.


The Battle River Research Group is collaborating in a research study with Lakeland College to increase feed barley profitability on Alberta farms. The “Managing Malt Genetics for Feed End-use” project, funded by the Alberta Barley Commission, tested whether growing malt barley varieties for feed end-use could improve yields and profitability.


To investigate the potential of malt barley varieties for feed end-use to improve yields and profitability.


The research trial investigated three malt varieties (CDC Copeland, AAC Synergy and CDC Bow) and three feed varieties (CDC Austenson, Brahma and Oreana) under low nitrogen (80 lb/ac total N - malt management) and high nitrogen (125 lb/ac total N - feed management). CDC Copeland (reg. in 1999) was included as the large acre malt variety check, while CDC Austenson (reg. in 2009) was the large acre feed variety check.


In 2019, at Forestburg, feeds and malts yielded in similar quantities and the feed variety Oreana had highest yield than all other varieties. No significant differences were observed in the yields of the three malt varieties at Forestburg as compared to feed varieties yields. In 2020, overall barley yield was less than 2019; however, malt varieties production is significantly lower than feed varieties. The Oreana feed barley variety yielded higher than all other varieties at Forestburg in both years of the study.

In both years, higher rates of N improved yield for each variety, but malt varieties were more responsive towards higher N rates as compared to feed as shown in Figure 2. CDC Bow yielded 17% more at higher N rates (140kg/ha). On the other hand, CDC Copeland responded negatively in 2019, and in 2020 we did not record a significant increase in yield (1.3 %).

Managing Malt Genetics for Feed End-use

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