The ‘Quality of Western Canadian malting barley 2017’ report is out, and the question is, will this malt barley crop ever be topped?
There was a decline in barley production for 2017. Total production was at 7.5 million metric tonnes, a 10.7% decline from 2016. This is due to a decrease in planted area and yields. Planted area was down 10% to 5.4 million acres. Dry conditions and above average temperatures led to below average yields. However, dry conditions also helped to suppress potential diseases.
Of this production, 2 million tonnes were selected as malt barley. The quality of the malt barley crop was surveyed by the Grain Research Laboratory and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre.
The malt barley crop had slightly below average protein levels but above average kernel weight and size. They high high-germination energy, and low water sensitivity. The barley samples tested by rapid visco analysis revealed there were low levels of pre-harvest sprouting.
The malt made from 2017 malt barley had high levels of malt extract, and brewing trials went well, with no problems during processing.
Overall, there was plenty malt barley of sound quality available in 2017, despite the weather difficulties throughout Western Canada.