Virginia Techs Small Grains Breeding Program is developing a new type of barley that lacks the fibrous covering. This new hulless barley offers producers an alternative grain for both traditional and new markets, including food, feed, and ethanol.
The price for winter barley has declined since 1996. Even though winter barley was an integral component of the regions cropping system, growers stopped producing it because it was not profitable. The Small Grains Breeding Program work is aimed at reversing this trend. It has focused on improving and diversifying barleys end-use quality.
"Traditional hulled barley cultivars that have higher starch and energy content, therefore, better feed quality, such as cultivars named Thoroughbred and Price, have recently been released by Virginia Tech," said Carl Griffey, professor of crop and soil environmental science at Virginia Tech. "Similar to wheat in appearance, ulless barley is significantly higher in starch content and significantly lower in fiber than traditional hulled barley," he said. Virginia Tech released the first winter hulless barley cultivar, "Doyce," in 2003.
Carl Griffey | EurekAlert!
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