OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — The government of Canada will invest up to C$5.25 million ($3.64 million) to support research into a more resilient barley sector that is better equipped to respond to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on June 12 announced the funding for the Canadian Barley Research Coalition through the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, an initiative under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The Canadian Barley Research Coalition is a national nonprofit organization with a focus on improving the profitability and competitiveness for Canadian barley through long-term research investments.

Barley is an important Canadian cereal grain grown for malt, feed, food, and forage and is instrumental in crop rotations. Though mainly produced in the prairie provinces of Western Canada, barley is grown in all areas of the country with an average annual production of close to 10 million tonnes.

“We would like to thank the government for their continued support of invaluable research under this program,” said Cody Glenn, Canadian Barley Research Coalition chair and farmer from Climax, Saskatchewan, Canada. “Barley is such an important crop for farmers to include in their rotations, and has important end uses in Canada and beyond, so this research will go a long way toward ensuring barley remains a profitable and sustainable crop option.”

Among other initiatives, the Barley Cluster research activities will explore:

  • Improving barley sustainability through integrated genetic diversity, nitrogen, and plant growth regulators,
  • Developing Canadian barley varieties that are more resistant to climate change,
  • Developing next-generation barley traits for economic profitability and environmental sustainability in Canada, and
  • Disease resistance to improve environmental, economic, and sector resiliency.

The AgriScience Program, under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, aims to accelerate innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and research that benefit the agriculture and agri-food sector, and Canadians.

The Clusters Component, under the AgriScience Program, supports projects intended to mobilize industry, government and academia through partnerships and address priority national themes and horizontal issues.