Alberta’s barley program moving to Olds College

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s field crop development centre is changing its location, and how its research is conducted.

Now to be housed at Olds College — through an initial $10.5 million grant over three years, funded through Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) — the barley breeding program will continue to develop and introduce new varieties of barley to both domestic and international markets, the college says.

Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College, says the college taking ownership of the program will allow more world-leading research support, and will enhance learning opportunities for students, which will ultimately support skills for jobs.

“Olds College welcomes the addition of the Barley/Triticale Research Program to our applied research portfolio,” Cullum says in a press release. “Olds College is focused on delivering research programming that is centered on the needs of producers and industry partners, and we are committed to collaborating with key stakeholders throughout the sector in order to sustainably position and grow barley/triticale research here in Alberta.”

Dave Bishop, chair of the Alberta Barley Commission, says this research move is important, as barley is a crucial crop in Alberta for both the livestock sector and the brewing industry.

“We are pleased to see the continuation of a barley breeding centre in our province where over half of Canada’s barley is grown and look forward to working with Olds College in bringing new varieties to market that improve the bottom line of Alberta farmers,” Bishop notes.

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