Northern Ontario has a similar climate to western Canada and is a promising location for malting barley production. However, the grain needs appropriate management practices to meet the strict quality requirements for brewing. Since growing conditions vary across northern Ontario, research on varieties and nutrient management techniques are essential to allow farmers to anticipate yields and returns for their farms.
2019 was the second year for this trial, with one more year to go in 2020. Three varieties (AC NewDale, ACC Synergy, and AC Metcalfe) were planted in Algoma at two different locations. Both locations established well.
Location 1 is located on a certified organic farm therefore, practices were different compared to location 2, which is a conventional farm. Location 1 did not receive herbicide treatment or fertilizer (other than manure). All varieties were planted on May 31st, 2019 where an acre was dedicated to each variety. All varieties were harvested on September 2nd, 2019. Location 2 was sprayed with Cubutox herbicide, fertilized with 8-32-16 and under-seeded with an alfalfa clover mix. All varieties were planted on June 4th, 2019 where an acre was dedicated to each variety. All varieties were harvested on September 3rd, 2019.
Both locations were planted on tiled ground where base soil samples were taken before planted for nutrient management.
Synergy out yielded on both locations, with NewDale coming close in second. Metcalfe yielded significantly lower than the other varieties at both locations. Samples were sent to Canada Malt in Alberta, where they were analyzed for malt quality and with recommendations on what malt houses look for.
This trial is led by NOFIA as part of a pan-northern project with Thunder Bay, Emo, New Liskeard and Algoma. For more information on the project go to “nofia-agri.com”.