Presenter: Brian Rossnagel, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Coauthor(s): Aaron Beattie, Tom Zatorski, and Graham Scoles, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
After the development and release of the world-leading two-row malting barley variety Harrington in 1981, the University of Saskatchewan malting barley breeding program followed a two-pronged approach for subsequent variety development. One breeding stream targeted malting and brewing end users interested in a similar high enzyme "Harrington-type" variety, resulting in the release of CDC Kendall in 1996, while the second approach was aimed at end-users desiring a somewhat lower malting enzyme package, resulting in the release of CDC Copeland in 1999. Both varieties represented significant agronomic improvements and have been widely grown across western Canada. From an end-user perspective, both have found success in domestic and international markets. To complement these two breeding streams, the CDC breeding program has recently placed increased emphasis on selection for lower grain protein to assist farmers in achieving malting grade and to increase malt extract levels for end-users, as well as selection for lower malt β-glucan and more uniform/balanced modification to make our product more attractive to malting/brewing end-users. These efforts have resulted in the development and release of the moderate-enzyme, low-protein variety CDC Meredith in 2008 and the higher enzyme, low-malt β-glucan CDC Kindersley in 2010. In collaboration with Sapporo Breweries, the program also released the relatively high-enzyme, low-protein, sprouting-tolerant variety CDC Reserve in 2008. In addition to malting/brewing quality improvement, these varieties again represent a significant advantage in agronomic performance for western Canadian barley growers. Commercialization of these varieties is underway, with CDC Meredith most advanced in the marketplace
Brian Rossnagel has been a plant sciences professor and the barley and oat breeder for the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan since 1977. Raised on a small mixed farm in central Manitoba, he earned a B.S. degree in agriculture (1973) and then a Ph.D. degree in plant breeding and agronomy (1978) at the University of Manitoba. Over his career, he has released more than 80 barley and oat varieties with a wide range of specific uses, from low-lignin, high-fat feed oats to two-row malting barley. Some additional keystones of his breeding and research career are the development of hulless barley for feed, food, and malting and consistent collaboration with other researchers, including cereal chemists, animal nutritionists, agronomists, plant biotechnologists, and plant pathologists. Having been conferred numerous honors and awards over the last few decades, his three most recent commendations (all in 2010) are the American Oat Workers Conference Distinguished Service to Oat Improvement Award, recognition as a University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Chair, and induction into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame.