There is an interest amongst the Northeast grain industry in hulless barley (also known as naked barley) for specialty food markets. The addition of a specialty grain, such as hulless barley, can support local farm viability by diversifying crop rotations and revenue streams. Unlike malting barley, hulless barley is free threshing. This means the hull easily separates from the grain kernel during harvest and cleaning, producing whole grain barley for human consumption. Because it is whole grain, hulless barley has higher flavor and nutritional value than pearled barley which goes through an abrasion process to remove the hull and bran. This also eliminates a processing step needed to produce barley for food markets. In 2020, the University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crops and Soils Program continued the second year of a field trial of sixteen heirloom hulless barley varieties with seed provided by Sylvia Davatz of Solstice Seeds (Hartland, VT).


Vermont, University of Vermont, heirloom hulless barley, spring barley

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