CDC Churchill joins list of recommended malting barley varieties for 2024

Malt barley steeping (source: Rahr.com)

Five varieties, including one new one, have cracked the list of recommended malting barley varieties for farmers to grow in 2024.

The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) published its annual list on Thursday, offering a guide to Western Canadian producers and industry on preferred varieties based on agronomics, malting quality, and market demand.

The list for 2024-25 features AAC Synergy, CDC Copeland, AAC Connect, CDC Fraser and — for the first time — CDC Churchill.

“With improved agronomics and disease resistance, new varieties have proven themselves to be high performers in Canadian fields, driving increased area, but there must be matching supply and demand,” explains Jon White, CMBTC board chair. “It’s the classic chicken or egg scenario—insufficient supply makes it challenging to source and sell enough quantities to international customers at a cost-effective rate. Yet, for producers to expand adoption, they want to ensure there is a market.”

That’s why the CMBTC works closely with end-users to test new varieties at a micro, pilot and production scale, explains managing director Peter Watts. “We provide comprehensive quality and performance data, supply samples and even facilitate commercial trials with new varieties in our export markets to expedite acceptance.”

This year’s list also breaks down differences in demand trends between domestic and international customers, highlighting how the domestic malting industry tends to adopt newer varieties sooner, while international markets take longer to move on from older varieties.

“Given the growing market acceptance of our new varieties and their improved agronomics, I would encourage producers who plan to grow barley in 2024 to consider a new malt variety if they have not already,” says Watts.

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