Industry News


Western Applied Research Corporation annual Crop Opportunity Meeting

SaskBarley is a sponsor of the Western Applied Research Corporation’s Crop Opportunity Meeting on March 04, 2020 at the Dekker Centre in North Battleford.  This event is open to everyone and features presentations from industry experts on current issues in Saskatchewan agriculture.

See full agenda

Register today at
Pre-register: $25 (before February 28) Standard registration: $35
Lunch included
Registration: 8:30AM
Event: 9:00-4:00PM
Contact: 306-247-2001 or

SaskBarley Chair, Vice-Chair positions to remain unchanged

January 20, 2020 – Saskatoon, SK The Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley) announced today that its Chair and Vice-Chair will remain unchanged for another year.

Jason Skotheim will remain on as the Chair of the Board, and Brent Johnson will remain as the Vice-Chair.

Skotheim farms with his brothers on a 4,500-acre farm north of Prince Albert growing barley, wheat and canola. He is also a founding owner of Horizon Manufacturing Inc., Saskatchewan’s only premium dry pet food manufacturer.

Johnson and his wife Jenna reside are the 4th generation to reside on the family farm started over 100 years ago near Strasbourg. The farm consists of 5,000 acres of grain land, and a 180 head commercial cow/calf operation

Last week, SaskBarley also officially welcomed two new Directors, Glenn Wright (Vanscoy) and Matt Enns (Rosthern) to the Board, following the closure of its 2019 elections in December. Incumbent Keith Rueve (Muenster) was re-elected for another term as Director and Allen Kuhlmann (Vanguard) will continue his current term as Director.

For more information:

Delaney Seiferling
Communications Manager

A reminder to farmers: check your bins!

The difference between feed and malt can be $1.50/bushel or more!
With the challenging 2019 harvest behind us (at least for most) an important consideration for farmers with malting barley this winter will be properly storing and monitoring the grain to ensure quality does not deteriorate. Even barley that did not appear chitted at harvest is showing signs of pre-harvest sprouting when tested, and in some cases this is resulting in a loss in germination. If your barley has excess moisture levels (i.e. above 13.5%) and/or has not had a chance to cool down since harvest, it is at risk of heating, loss of germination and other issues such as mold and mildew. 
Generally speaking, the industry standard for germination in malting barley is minimum 95%, and good storage conditions can help maintain malting barley vigour. Heating, mold and mildew can also lead to barley being rejected for selection as malt.  
What to do?

  • Check your bin tops for moisture migration. A small bit of tough barley can ultimately spoil the whole bin if not addressed.
  • If your moisture level is above 13.5%, you should try to get the moisture down.
  • Run your aeration fans on cold days to freeze your bins. Cool and dry grain has greatly improved shelf life.
  • If air/heat is not possible in the bin, you may need to remove all or part of the grain from your bin to dry it, or at least cool it down before putting it back in the bin. 

You can submit a sample to your local malting barley buyer to check the germination level of your barley. Questions can also be directed to:
Jill McDonald, SaskBarley

Producers: We need your input!

On behalf of the barley industry, the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI) is working closely with the Barley Council of Canada (BCC) to facilitate the development of a national research strategy for barley.

A key objective of the National Barley Research Strategy is to identify and quantify the research of highest importance to farmers in order to provide a high return on their funding investments.

We encourage Saskatchewan barley growers to participate by completing the short survey.

SaskBarley announces results of 2019 Board elections

The Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley) announced today the results of the fall 2019 election.
There were four candidates running for three positions on the Board. The successful candidates are incumbent Keith Rueve (Muenster) and newcomers Glenn Wright (Vanscoy) and Matt Enns (Rosthern).
There were 2305 separate votes cast for eligible candidates, from 946 ballots received (280 electronic and 666 verified paper ballots).
The Directors’ terms will start following the SaskBarley annual general meeting (AGM), which will be held Monday, January 13, 2020 at 2:45PM at TCU Place in Saskatoon.
They will be joining three existing Directors on the Board: Chair Jason Skotheim, Vice-Chair Brent Johnson and Allen Kuhlmann.
Registered producers are encouraged to attend the SaskBarley AGM Monday, January 13, 2020 at TCU Place in Saskatoon. Registration begins at 11:00AM, followed by lunch at 11:30AM, the SaskWheat AGM at noon and a keynote speaker at 1:45PM. See a full agenda at
For more information, please contact:
Delaney Seiferling
Communications Manager

SaskBarley funded research concludes that dry rolled barley grain a good option for cattle feed

Recent research, partially funded by SaskBarley, concluded that feeding dry rolled barley grain to cattle resulted in improved growth performance and digestibility.

The research, lead by Dr. Greg Penner at the University of Saskatchewan, aimed to evaluate the effects of the source of silage, cereal grain, and their interaction on growth, digestibility, and carcass characteristics of finishing beef cattle.

Research background

Western Canadian feedlots have predominantly relied on the use of barley silage and barley grain as feed ingredients for finishing diets. However, the recent development of short-season corn hybrids offer a yield advantage for producers relative to barley silage (Lardner et al., 2017; Baron et al., 2014). Although corn silage typically has greater starch and lesser protein content than barley silage, the amount of dietary energy contributed by silage is relatively small in finishing diets. At such low levels of inclusion (< 10% DM basis), forage in finishing diets is more likely to provide value as a source of effective fibre rather than as a source of energy.

When processed similarly, starch and protein from barley is degraded more rapidly and to a greater extent in the rumen than corn grain (Herrera-Saldana et al., 1990). Due to the rapid fermentation of dry-rolled barley grain, the risk of ruminal acidosis is perceived to be greater than with dry-rolled corn, a response that can have a negative impact on ADG and G:F (Castillo-Lopez et al., 2014). Several studies have demonstrated that combining grain sources with differing rates of degradable carbohydrate fractions may improve efficiency and growth performance of finishing cattle (Kreikemeier et al., 1987; Stock et al., 1987b). That being said, there are currently no studies that compare barley and corn and limited studies that have evaluated short-season corn silage. Additionally, while previous studies have evaluated the use of either barley- or corn-based diets for finishing cattle (Beauchemin et al., 1997), they have not examined the interactions between cereal silage and cereal grain sources.
We hypothesized that due to the differing concentrations of starch and the expected differences for starch and protein degradability in corn and barley grain, diets containing blended grains will result in improved digestibility, growth performance, and feed efficiency compared to single grain diets, with little effect of silage source.

Read the entire report


Barley in 2019: Year in Review

By Mitchell Japp
Provincial Specialist, Cereal Crops
Government of Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Looking back to mid- to late-May, it seems like 2019 has shaped up quite different than may have been expected at the end of seeding. At the time it was dry and crop development was slow. Once the rain started, the crop got growing and we saw quite a range of conditions.

The Ministry has regional offices in 10 locations across the province, as well as receiving calls at the Ag Knowledge Centre, and samples submitted to the Crop Protection Lab. Collectively, these are some of the issues that appeared in 2019.

Calls started in the spring with assistance planning fertility rates and seeding rates. Seeding rates are recommended between 210-250 plants/m2 (20-24 per sq ft) and requires a thousand kernel weight and germination test to develop accurately. Fertility will vary depending on objectives of malt or feed and risk tolerance for protein management in malt, but sound fertility recommendations start with a soil test.

Samples at the lab included several throughout the season affected by environmental stress. Insufficient moisture was a common cause. In one specific example, deep seeding led to emergence issues. The deep seeding may have been intentional (to find moisture), or a result of issues with the seeding equipment, planting speed or soil drifting in seed rows.

There were some issues with root rot. The dry soil, combined with cool temperatures led to slow emergence and overall crop development. This allowed root pathogens time to negatively impact the plants. Later in the year, some issues with smut were observed. Both issues can generally be resolved with an appropriate seed treatment.

Moving into spraying season, calls were focused on herbicide damage. Dry soils limited herbicide breakdown and led to some carryover issues. Soil moisture is a critical factor in herbicide breakdown. Other issues included spray tank contamination. Proper rinsing and washing is critical when changing herbicides.

Later in the season, after some precipitation arrived, other issues arose, including nitrogen deficiency and lodging. Nitrogen deficiency may have arisen due the plant not accessing the nitrogen band, earlier in the growing season when higher N uptake occurs, or may have just been insufficient for the growth that occurred after precipitation. Lodging is relatively common in barley, but some of the issues observed in 2019 may have been due to insufficient potassium fertilizer. Ensuring adequate potassium for cereal crops in general, and specifically barley, is an important tool in managing lodging.

The cool, wet weather has now hindered harvest operations for quite some time. Barley left in the field has had some severe sprouting issues leading to questions on management options for swath grazing. Barley harvested now is likely to need some drying. Although malt quality is unlikely now, malt or seed should be dried no higher than 45 C, commercial use 55 C and for feed anywhere from 80-100 C.

Other topics throughout the year included questions on fungicides, leaf disease, herbicide options to manage group 2 resistance and timing of various operations. A highlight was when a grower with a question on canola wanted to show off his barley field, which he thought was his best looking crop this year.

SCIC reminds Saskatchewan producers of coverage options this harvest season

The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) issued the following letter to Saskatchewan producers and ranchers this week.

Re:  2019 Harvest

The SCIC understands the challenges producers are facing this fall due to recent heavy rain and snow delaying harvest. I would like to take this opportunity to provide some information about coverage options available to Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers.

Crop Insurance provides coverage for both yield and quality loss on insured crops. It is important producers stay in contact with SCIC about their crop quality. Our offices will be able to identify producers who appear to be in a claim position due to quality losses.

If a Crop Insurance customer wants to put their crop to an alternate use, they simply need to contact their local SCIC office or Crop Insurance Customer Service toll-free line, at 1-888-935-0000. SCIC is committed to dispatching our adjusters to process producer’s pre-harvest appraisal, as timely as possible. In order to provide an accurate inspection for both yield and quality loss, SCIC prefers a harvested check-strip, with an adjuster present, to complete a producer’s appraisal and calculate any potential claim.

For those livestock producers worried about nitrates and other quality issues with feed stock or inquiring about winter feed plans, resources are available through the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Ministry specialists are available to assist producers with obtaining an analysis of their feed and developing a feeding plan for their livestock. Livestock and Feed Extension Specialists can also assist producers in management and planning when faced with salvaging grain crops for livestock forage. I encourage producers to please contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 or take advantage of the current SaskAgNow article discussing managing winter feeding with alternative feed sources, feed testing, winder feeding plans and; canola hay/silage for livestock:

With crops currently still out in the field, I want to also remind your members about the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. All Saskatchewan producers are eligible for coverage. Producers do not have to be a Crop Insurance customer to be eligible to submit a claim. Producers are encouraged to contact SCIC as soon as damage is detected: 1-888-935-0000. SCIC continues to monitor Wildlife Damage calls over the weekends during harvest season.

For those producer’s enrolled in AgriStability for the 2019 program year, lower than expected yields and crop quality downgrading could impact a participant’s margin. AgriStability participants can apply for an interim benefit before the year is over. Interim benefits allow producers to receive up to 50 per cent of their AgriStability benefit early. If producers have questions about AgriStability, they can contact their local SCIC office or call the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450.

As a producer myself, I understand this is a stressful time. The Farm Stress Line is available at 1-800-667-4442. This is a 24/7 confidential service, available to producers across the province. Whether your members are seeking information, or trying to manage a conflict or crisis, I encourage producers to reach out and seek assistance, if needed.

I am hopeful 2019 harvest will be completed through October and November. In the event harvest is further delayed and producers are unable to harvest their crop by November 15, Crop Insurance customers have the option to request an extension of insurance. An extension of insurance provides coverage on insured crops over winter. November 15 is also the deadline to file a claim and/or report their production declaration, following the completion of harvest. For more information on this, or any of SCIC’s programs, please visit our website:

We are currently monitoring the weather and harvest progress. SCIC is working alongside the Ministry of Agriculture, and our industry partners, to keep producers informed. I would encourage you to share this information with your members and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact my office.


Shawn Jaques
President and CEO
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation


SaskBarley announces 2019 election

The Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley) announced today that it will be holding an election this fall to fill three positions on its Board of Directors.

The months-long nomination period closed last Friday at 4PM and four candidates have been verified to run in the election:

  • Keith Rueve, Muenster
  • Michael Haydon, Swift Current
  • Matt Enns, Rosthern
  • Glenn Wright, Vanscoy

“We are pleased to have received a slate of high-quality candidates for our 2019 elections,” says Board Chair Jason Skothem. “This signals to us that the Saskatchewan barley community is engaged with the work we are doing and that barley producers are willing to invest their time and passion into helping build a sustainable future for our industry.”

Voting process and results

Candidate information will be posted on our website in coming weeks and will also be featured in our fall newsletter, which will be published and mailed in early October. Voting ballots and instructions will be mailed out to all Saskatchewan barley producers in October. An electronic voting option will also be available.

Election results will be announced in December and officially presented at the SaskBarley AGM in January 2020.

For more information:

Please direct any election-related questions to:

Ann Smith
Returning Officer
Levy Central

For all other inquiries:  

Delaney Seiferling
SaskBarley Communications Manager

SaskBarley scholarships nurture the next generation of reseachers

The Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley) has issued two, $5000 graduate-level scholarships for 2019. The scholarship program, newly introduced in 2019, is a channel for SaskBarley to invest in university students who are carrying out research that meets SaskBarley’s long-term goals, says Board Chair Jason Skotheim.

“Our organization’s mission is to help ensure barley is a long term, profitable and internationally competitive crop choice for Saskatchewan producers,” he says. “Specifically, we are interested in increasing production and value for barley producers, of both malt and feed varieties. Our two successful applicants this year are both doing innovative and exciting work in these areas.”

The two successful applicants for 2019 are:

  • Fan Yang. A PhD student in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Plant Sciences, Fan is currently researching Ruhq, a gene that is resistant to covered smut, with the overall goal of helping breeders incorporate effective covered smut resistance into future varieties by developing tightly linked molecular markers to the Ruhq
  • Coleman Nixdorff. Currently completing a Master’s degree in the University of Saskatchewan’s Animal Science program, Coleman is researching how processing feed barley affects the performance parameters, carcass qualities and starch digestibility of finishing feedlot cattle. His overall goal is to quantify the economic benefit of barley as feed, in order to maintain and increase demand for Western Canadian feed barley.

SaskBarley received several impressive applications for its scholarship program this year, Skotheim says.

“It was difficult to narrow it down to just two recipients and our board was encouraged to hear about the high quality research that is happening in Western Canada specific to barley. We thank all applications and hope they will consider our program again in coming years.”

For more information:

Delaney Seiferling
Communications Manager