Winter Barley: Varieties
Performance data are reported in the annual publication Pennsylvania Winter Wheat and Winter Barley Performance Tests. This publication is available from county offices of Penn State Cooperative Extension or online at extension.psu.edu/small-grains. Winter barley varieties vary considerably in yield, maturity, and test weight. Hulless winter barley lines have lower yields but higher test weight and starch content. These were originally developed for the ethanol market but are now being used as a feed substitute for corn, particularly in poultry rations.
Winter barley is less winter hardy than winter wheat. For this reason, winter survival is poor in most locations in Area 1 (Figure 1.7-1). In Area 2, winter survival may be poor in approximately one year out of six, whereas in Area 3, winter survival should be adequate most years.
Poor-quality seed may limit yield and crop performance because of low germination (less than 85 percent), excessive foreign material, weed seed, and seed of other varieties or crops. Certified seed offers the best assurance of quality.