Fisheries and Land Resources
June 9, 2017

Research Project on Viability of Growing Malting Barley Underway in Cormack

The Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, was in Cormack this morning to watch as the Provincial Government, in cooperation with a local farm, took the first steps toward determining the potential of growing malting barley for the province’s beverage and feed industry.

Ten acres of Cerveza malting barley are being planted at Larch Grove Farm this summer. If the quality is suitable, the grain will be shipped to the Newfoundland Distillery Co. in Clarke’s Beach to be malted. Once the malting process is complete, the distillery will ship the grain back to the farm to be used as needed. If the grain cannot be used in the malting process, it will be kept by the farmer and used in regular feed rations.

The craft brewing and distilling industries are growing in Newfoundland and Labrador with three new beverage companies beginning operations in the last year or so and with several other projects currently in the works. Several established facilities already import malt from outside of the province, while others import grain and malt it themselves for greater control over the flavour of the finished product.

The Provincial Government continues to make the agriculture industry a priority in Budget 2017, allocating $10 million to agriculture programs, including $1 million for research and development. The Grain and Oilseed Research Program was allocated $210,000.

Increasing food self-sufficiency is one initiative of more than 50 included in The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is also a focus of the Cabinet Committee on Jobs which will increase jobs and growth through unprecedented partnerships with industry.

“This project will test the viability of growing malting barley to be used in two local industries. The long-term, anticipated result of this project is the establishment of a partnership between dairy farmers and local craft brewers and distillers that can increase self-sufficiency and profitability without diverting a feed from the livestock industry.”
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

“Malting barley provides several great opportunities for my farm and other farmers in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is an annual crop, which means we can rotate our fields and reduce weeds and diseases. We can harvest our crops as usual and use the straw for bedding or feed. The distiller’s grains will be incorporated into feed rations as if it had never left the farm. This is a great opportunity to diversity the income of our farm without compromising our land use or self-sufficiency.”
Ian Richardson
Larch Grove Farm

“It is exciting to see these types of new initiatives taking place in our industry. The diversification that this brings will help us to build a more competitive industry, with more opportunity to self-sufficiency in the dairy sector. It is projects like this that will help to build the rural economy.”
Merv Wiseman
Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture

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Media contacts
Connie Boland
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2923, 640-6409

Ian Richardson
Larch Grove Farm

Merv Wiseman
Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture

2017 06 09                             11:15 a.m.