Though hugely important to the western Canadian feeding sector, barley has a tough double shield that can overprotect its starch content from digestion. Dry rolling is the answer. When barley is crushed between grooved rollers the starch and protein are exposed and more easily and rapidly digested. However, over-rolling produces fine particles that can trigger digestive upset in cattle and cause animal welfare challenges and production losses.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) was created to help students acquire the skills and experience they need to land that first job once they complete their studies. This year, the federal government allotted $3.7 million to subsidize about 300 agricultural jobs open to youth between the ages of 15 and 30.
Not every farm can justify investing in a grain dryer. Some farms are too small and others may not receive enough annual moisture to warrant the expense. While farms in both of these categories still need to dry grain, they may consider alternatives to full conventional setups.
Massive resources are poured into agricultural research. It’s the goal of industry organizations to present this rich body of fresh agronomic information alongside established knowledge and make it easy to understand for farmers and agronomists. This communication process is commonly referred to as “extension.”
Farm life has always been shaped by the technology of the day. School tour groups at the South Peace Centennial Museum and Interpretive Centre work with tools that defined pioneer life. They come to appreciate homesteader chores as they apply a hefty flat iron to wrinkled shirts, scour wooden floors with a scrub brush, make rope from baler twine and cut firewood with a bucksaw.
Raised on a farm in Peace Country, Vincent Pawluski has always loved to tinker. As a kid, he hot-rodded a Fischer Price boat with a small motor and propellor. Later, as part of an elementary school science fair project, he and his friends created a remote-controlled drill stem like those used in the oil and gas industry.
Often, we are not prepared for today’s challenges because we hold onto our “never.” “That will never happen,” or “that never works,” or “that should never be taught in the classroom” and even the dreaded, “we tried that and it never worked.” How many times has our “never” put limitations on our farm operations, our vision for the future or even our simple ability to adapt and change?
The net result of combined low carry-in stocks, the severe drought of 2021 and record high prices for feed barley has been a supply crunch that has made it difficult for North American maltsters to source sufficient supplies. The available barley generally has quality challenges that include very high protein content and reduced germination caused by 2021 weather conditions. We now have greater perspective on how the malting and brewing industries are dealing with the challenges associated with the less-than-optimal crop.