b"Advantage, AB Tofield, SR18524, AB Wrangler, AB Hague, AB Prime and FB20601. One of the varieties that Kabeta is most excited about is SR18524. The six-row feed and forage variety has improved nitrogen use efficiency and is flexible to be used for either feed or forage. Its a semi-dwarf variety with good lodging resistance. This is the kind of variety that comes at the very right time, right? Because everybody's concerned about input costs, and as well as also the environmental component. So, it would help a bit, Kabeta adds.AB Hague, a two-row variety, had a lot of food companies excited about when it was released, as its high yielding and has a good disease resistance package. While AB Prime, another two-row variety, is also garnering a lot of attention. Kabeta notes data is showing the two varieties have the potential to take over a significant portion of Alberta feed and forage barley acreage.Heart of Cattle CountryAt the heart of the feed and forage barley breeding program is its connections within the livestock industry. Alberta is known for its cattle ranches and feedlot alley, which makes having an in-province feed and forage barley breeding program a perfect fit.We rely heavily on barley, whether for silage or for feed grains that go into the feedlot system. So, I think it really is A breeder seed plot of SR18524, a semi-dwarf six-row barley variety with gooda critical component to help maintain our sustainability and lodging resistance. It has improved nitrogen use efficiency and is flexible to becompetitiveness, Schmid explains.used for either feed or forage. PHOTO: OLDS COLLEGE Kabeta works closely with the livestock industry to make sure the varieties they are focusing on are the right fit for the industry. He doesnt only work with Alberta livestock associations, but also with ones outside of the province such as the Saskatchewan Barley Breeding Cattlemens Association.The FCDC barley breeding program at Olds College has twoWith FCDC having moved from being under the provincial barley breedersKabeta, who focuses on feed and foragegovernment to Olds College in early 2021, it has brought varieties, and his colleague Flavio Capettini, who focuses onopportunities for further collaborations, especially with the malt varieties. The FCDC feed and forage breeding program isschools livestock unit. the only Canadian barley breeding program that specificallyMoving into (Olds College) came with so many opportunities focuses on breeding barley for those uses. for us, Kabeta adds. Internal collaboration itself with the With the breeding program, Kabeta focuses on grain yields,school's livestock unit, we're collaborating working with and agronomics, and disease resistance. For agronomics, Kabeta isthere is also the Smart Farm Group where we're collaborating looking for varieties that have improved lodging resistance andand working with.early maturity. With disease resistance he focuses on havingAt Alberta Beef Producers, Schmid says their main focus varieties with multiple disease resistances such as scald andfor barley varieties is the yield and lodging resistance. Also stem rust.important is the digestibility of the grain or foragethe more We also look at quality, both grain and forage quality. On thedigestible it is the more efficiently cattle can maintain their grain side, the plant has to have plump kernels and a high testweight or put on weight.weight or bushel weight, he explains. On the forage side, theWe need our barley to have high yields, whether that seed quality will mainly be based off of fibre digestibility, but thereor grain, and we need it to stand up, so it's easily harvested, are several other desirable forage attributes such as smooth awnSchmid says. We also look at some of the quality parameters or and longer window of harvest for silaging. ability to be adaptable to stress, environmental stresses. I think Kabeta is also working on more sustainable varieties there's several traits you can work on improving in a barley barley varieties that have improved nitrogen and water usebreeding program.efficiency. When he was first hired at FCDC one of his directivesKabeta looks forward to continuing the work he has been for the breeding program was to breed varieties with betterdoing on barley breeding through increased research access at nitrogen use efficiency. Olds College and using new technologies to bring more options In the last five years, the FCDC program has released eightto Alberta farmers.new feed and forage varieties including AB Cattlelac, AB Ashley Robinson30seed.ab.ca"