Canadian feed barley is a clean and highly digestible source of energy with an excellent combination of essential amino acids and high lysine content compared to other grains. Feed barley from Western Canada is mainly consumed by the domestic hog and cattle feed industry, or, with added enzymes, by the poultry industry. It is the central ingredient used by western Canadian feedlots in producing quality Canadian beef.
Western Canadian malting barley varieties are internationally recognized by the brewing industry for their high extract, rapid endosperm modification, good enzyme levels, good fermentability, low beta-glucans and satisfactory ratio of soluble-to-total proteins. Malting varieties from Western Canada are used in the domestic brewing industry and by major malt and malting barley customers around the world. About 70 per cent of barley acres in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are seeded to malting varieties. Only the best quality barley varieties are selected for marketing as malting barley. The remainder is used as feed barley. Two-row varieties occupy about 75 per cent of the malting barley area, with six-row varieties grown on the remaining 25 per cent.