Progress on Organic Naked Barley Breeding, Exploration of Organic Breeding Traits

Join eOrganic for a webinar on breeding organic naked (hull-less) barley, by Karl Kunze of Cornell University. The webinar takes place on April 14, 2021 at 11AM Pacific, 12 Mountain, 1 Central, 2 Eastern Time and is free and open to the public. Register in advance at https://oregonstate.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RJzsV_8LQWKpZbyp0vydlg

Barley, one of the first domesticated agricultural plants, is a versatile crop that has three main end uses: malt food and feed. Interest in consumption of organic barley for these end uses has increased in recent years, and organic prices can fetch a significant premium to justify integrating organic barley into an organic farmer’s profile. Naked barley, a type of barley where the hull falls off the grain at harvest, has significant advantages over “hulled” due to better test weight and processing as a whole grain, particularly for food consumption. However, there many traits of barley in organic environments that have not been considered because most barley has been selected for malting quality in conventional environments. Here, we will be presenting research progress made on the Multi-use Organic Naked Barley project with the aim to develop methods to evaluate and select multi-use naked barley lines in organic environments. We have evaluated both winter and spring variety trials across the United States at research universities located in New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon and California. The goal of the webinar is to present some of our research and trial findings as well as some practical experience learned from growing organic naked barley for this project. Additionally,we will discuss utilizing aerial imaging technology to measure components of weed competitive ability in organic spring barley.

Karl Kunze is a graduate student in the School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, and works in Mark Sorrell's lab.

Published April 12, 2021

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.