AC Metcalfe (photo courtesy AAFC Brandon)



A two-row malting barley variety developed by Dr. Bill Legge at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Brandon Research Centre has been named the 2010 Seed of the Year for western Canada.

AC Metcalfe received full registration in 1997. Producers favoured the variety due to several agronomic characteristics, including disease resistance and quality traits. Among end-users, Metcalfe is known for consistency, high enzyme levels and high levels of fermentable extract.

According to Canadian Wheat Board variety surveys, AC Metcalfe has been the most popular malt barley variety in western Canada every year since 2002. In Manitoba, Metcalfe became the flagship variety in 2000 and only surrendered the top spot this year when it was surpassed by another variety developed in Brandon, AC Newdale.

"AC Metcalfe is a very deserving winner, primarily because of its presence in the market. It currently makes up about 65 percent of the total two-row malt barley in western Canada," says Todd Hyra, business manager with SeCan. "It has had a tremendous impact on the malt industry, in terms of stability of supply and quality, and it definitely has been a favourite of growers over the years as well."

The Seed of the Year award is designed to recognize publicly-developed varieties that have made significant contributions to the economy, agriculture and the Canadian public in general. The program was first set up for eastern Canada in 2005. The first Seed of the Year West award was handed out in 2008.

Seed of the Year West Winners

2010 - AC Metcalfe (two row malt barley), developed by Bill Legge at AAFC Brandon

2009 - Harrington (two row malt barley), developed by Bryan Harvey and Brian Rossnagel at the University of Saskatchewan

2008 - Kyle (durum wheat), developed by Fred Townley-Smith

~ Tuesday, November 2, 2010 ~