Collaborative Testing and Development of Forage Barley Varieties for Western Canada

Project Title

Collaborative Testing and Development of Forage Barley Varieties for Western Canada


Yadeta Kabeta

Flavio Capettini (Barley breeder, Alberta Ag); Lori Oatway (Feed quality, Alberta Ag); Erin Collier (Research extension, Alberta Ag); Vern Baron (Forage agronomist, AAFC Lacombe); Ana Badea (Barley breeder, AAFC Brandon); and Brett Mollison (Agronomist, AAFC Melfort).

Status Project Code
In progress. Results expected in April, 2024 FRG.01.20


CDC Cowboy and CDC Maverick are currently the most popular forage barley varieties in the prairies. However, several new varieties such as AB Cattlelac, AB Advantage, and AB Wrangler hit the market in the last five years. In addition, there are new varieties being developed that are close to being released. These new lines come with not only improved forage biomass yield, but have also shown better forage quality as compared to the established varieties, such as CDC Cowboy. New germplasm and desirable genes are being continuously added into the breeding populations, and much more progress is to be anticipated from the breeding of forage barley.


  • Evaluate advanced barley lines for adaptation and yield (grain, biomass) stability across different soil zones of western Canada.

What they will do

This project is a variety trial in which newly develop barley varieties will be tested against five commonly used varieties (Cowboy, Gadsby, Austenson, Vivar, Cattlelac). They will conduct two separate trials, one in which varieties will be assessed for forage traits and another in which they will be assessed for feed traits. The forage set will be tested in seven locations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and the grain set will be tested at 15 locations across the prairies. Researcher will look at a variety of feed and forage focused agronomic parameters.  


By the end of this trial this team plans to release three new barley varieties for producers to use.