Agriculture and Food Processing g - Commodities: Grains & Oilseeds


About the Industry | Processing | Trade | Tradition & Quality | Contacts

The Manitoba Advantage

Barley Close-upManitoba's unique climate and central location make it one of the most productive barley-growing areas in the world.

The long warm summer days characteristic of the Canadian prairies, our clean environment and the large fertile land base provide excellent growing conditions for some of the world's highest quality barley.
Our cold winter months also greatly reduce our exposure to some of the crop diseases more commonly found in warmer climates.

Manitoba's location, in the heart of North America, is close to major processors in Canada and the United States and, being directly located on north-south and east-west shipping routes, Manitoba receives superior service by road, air and rail.

Thus, our central location coupled with its unique climate results in accessible, high quality barley.

About the Industry

Canada is one of the world's largest barley producers and exporters, and its barley is renowned for a consistent high quality, which is advantageous to the malt, feed, and food industries. Over 50 barley varieties are registered for production in Western Canada including hulless and malting varieties and several others ideally suited to feed.

Within Manitoba, the level of barley production peaked in the early 1980s with annual harvests of greater than 2 million acres. In recent years however, barley production has declined, largely resulting from low barley prices on the world market, competition of other crops grown annually by our producers, a decline in the number of hogs in Manitoba, and export competition from other barley producing countries. Manitoba produces approximately 10% of Canada's annual barley crop.

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Each year a portion of Manitoba's barley crop is selected for use by the domestic food and beverage industries. Some of the selected or designated barley is processed into food, such as pot or pearl barley, while some is further processed into food ingredients.  The malt varieties will be processed by Manitoba’s one major maltster and the malt is used by the province's micro-brewing industry.  All excess barley and malt will be exported to clients around the world.

The barley that was not graded for human consumption is used domestically for animal feed, mainly in Manitoba's pork industry. Some feed barley is also exported.  Contracts and options for feed barley can be traded on ICE Futures Canada.

The remaining barley that was not selected for the food and beverage industries is used domestically for animal feed, mainly in Manitoba's growing pork industry. Contracts and options for feed barley can be traded on the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange.

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Barley SeedTrade

The majority of Manitoba's exported barley is malting barley in the unprocessed form, while smaller amounts of barley malt and malt extract is also exported.

Our barley products are exported to several different countries around the world including the United States, China, Japan and Mexico.

Until the 2012 crop year, the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) represented western Canadian barley producers as their sole exporter of barley.  Changes in Government of Canada legislation removed the monopoly power of CWB effective August 2012.

Today the CWB is just one of several exporters that are prepared to export barley to clients around the globe.

Tradition & Quality

Canada has consistently been a major producer of high-quality barley on the world stage.
Canada's barley is subject to the strict quality standards of the Canadian Grain Commission's grain quality control program, which includes varietal control, licensing of elevators, product inspection and weighing, and sanitation and quality monitoring programs.

As well, extensive research and development, focusing on barley technology, is conducted each year at the University of Manitoba, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre, government locations and processing facilities.

Some of the ongoing research in the province focuses on the development of enhanced barley cultivars with those qualities that meet specific customer needs.

These projects and those ongoing in other provinces in Canada, continually make Manitoba, and Canada, a leader in barley varietal and processing development.

Contact: Address: Other Links:

Mila Ruiz Turiaf

Send a Message or

Tel:  204-945-2466
Fax: 204-957-1763
Toll free in Canada and the U.S.

Manitoba Trade & Investment
1100 - 259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada R3B 3P4

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