Canada Cereals Grains
Barley, common name for members of genus Hordeum of the grass family (Gramineae). Many wild and cultivated forms occur and, since all cultivated forms and some of the wild ones are interfertile, they are assumed to belong to one species, H. vulgare.
The barley plant has a cylindrical stem which is hollow, except at the nodes (solid areas from which the leaves arise).
Barley is referred to as having either a spring or a winter habit of growth. Spring-sown types, which mature in 80-90 days, predominate in Canada. Slightly acid, well-drained loams or clay loams are preferred.
A large proportion of marketed barley is made into malt for beverages or malt-enriched food products (see Brewing industry). Barley can also be made into pearled grain for soups, into flour for flatbread or can be eaten as porridge.
Canada is the biggest single producer of canola.
Canola is a type of rapeseed and is a Canadian invention; it is characterized by having improved nutritional qualities in both the oil and the meal. Unlike other seeds and plants canola and rapeseed do not have a single Latin name.
In Canada, canola is usually seeded in spring (May) and harvested from August to September; however, in Southern Ontario, winter canola can be seeded in August and harvested the next year from early July to August. Sowing and harvesting methods are similar to those of cereals. Mature seeds contain on average 43% oil and have thin black, brown or yellow seed coats.
Canola oil is one of the healthiest oils present on the market. Moreover, canola oil has the lowest content of saturated fatty acid when compared to other commercially available dietary fats.
About half the canola produced is exported to various countries. The main importing countries are the United States, Japan and Mexico.
Sweet corn (Zea mays var. saccharata or rugosa) is an annual vegetable of the grass family.
In Canada and the US, sweet corn is an important vegetable, eaten fresh (on the cob) or stored canned or frozen (on or off the cob).
Ontario and Québec are the two leading producers.
Wheat is the common name for members of genus Triticum of the grass family (Gramineae) and for the cereal grains produced by these grasses. Wheat figures among the three most produced cereals in the world, along with corn and rice. Canada is the world’s sixth-largest producer and one of the largest exporters of wheat, annually producing an average of over 25 million tonnes and exporting around 15 million tonnes.
Close to half of all Canadian wheat is grown in Saskatchewan, followed by Alberta and Manitoba.
The cultivar Red Fife, developed in Ontario, became very popular because of its good yield and excellent milling and baking qualities.
Within Canada, wheat is the most important cultivated crop (grown on an average of over 10 million hectares), though canola is increasing in significance.
Wheat has several uses, including flour for baked goods and pasta, and feed for livestock. In addition, it is used to make beer, vodka and biofuel. Wheat contains gluten protein, which forms minute gas cells that hold carbon dioxide during fermentation, allowing dough to rise and resulting in light bread. Importers of Canadian wheat often blend it with weaker wheats before using it for bread. For this reason, much effort goes into maintaining the strength and mixing qualities of Canadian wheat. Maintenance involves controlling cultivars (i.e., cultivated species) grown and applying a comprehensive grading system.