Research Updates

April 2018

Germplasm: Regional trials

  • Fall regional trial is part way through flowering in Oregon and looking good. The trial mostly survived the winter in Ithaca, but did not do so well in Madison.
  • Spring trials were planted in Oregon and Wisconsin.
  • Phenotyping details coming soon!

Diversity panel:

  • Spring trials were planted in Oregon and Wisconsin. Updates from the other three states?  Winter lines are finishing up in the greenhouse, these lines will be added to the trial for fall 2018.
  • Phenotyping details coming soon!
  • Lines will be genotyped later this spring.

Education: All states should be working with a lead teacher on spring planting at schools. The middle-schoolers in Oregon will be visiting our field plots later this month; should be a fun visit and we can share our station activities with anyone who would like to host a similar event with their partner school.

For the future: OREI Meeting/Barley Day: May 31/June 1 at Corvallis. We’re very excited to have so many of you joining us! For those not joining, if you have something to report, please let Brigid know and I’ll share with the group. It’s shaping up to be an exciting two days.

Barley Day poster is attached, feel free to distribute to anyone you know in the area who may be interested!


March 2018


Regional trials: We met with the OSU extension weed specialist and started weed assessments in the fall trial. We will follow up with breediers about protocol. We need reports on fall winter survival from the colder states. Spring trials were sent out. Too much rain in the PNW to plant yet and it looks awfully snowy in the Midwest.

Diversity panel: A great deal of time went into preparing seed for the diversity panel and we were finally able to send out the spring and facultative entries and designs to all collaborators! Winter lines are finishing up in the greenhouse. These lines will be added to the trial for fall 2018. We will follow up with phenotyping requirements soon. Lines will be genotyped later this spring.

Increase blocks: CDC Clear and Purple Valley seed were shipped to those who requested it. 

Education: All states should have a lead teacher and start thinking about spring planting at schools.

Outreach: Brigid Meints spoke on a panel about organic agriculture at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon. Several more naded barley lines are being malted in the CLP at 500g.

Photo: Clockwise from top left: Weed assessments in Corvallis; Kerri at WSU cultivating the fall regional trial at Mount Vernon; Laura tending to winter diversity panel plants in the greenhouse; Stripe rust on the fall regional trial.

January 2018

 Germplasm: Regional trials: The fall trial is growing well with minimal weed pressure in Corvallis.We’ll be collecting entries and sending out the spring regional trial in the next few weeks. 

Diversity panel: Planning a spring trial of ~260 entries + checks. The earliest entries are beginning to dry down in the greenhouse; the latest entries have not headed. 

Increase blocks: Working out details on seed orders. All states should make sure they have a lead teacher identified and start thinking about spring planting at schools. More info in a bulletin from Pat coming soon!

Outreach: Brigid, Pat, Lane, and Andrew presented at the Cascadia Grains Conference along with bakers Dillon Debauche and Mel Darbyshire. We talked about the project and tasted 3 barley breads and 1 wheat bread. The audience greatly preferred the barley breads, although there wasn’t a consensus on favorite variety. Brigid is currently organizing information from the ballots. At OSU we’ve been preparing easy barley recipes (waffles, crepes, crumpets, barley tea) in the lab and taste testing them amongst ourselves and sharing recipes on social media. Additionally, Andrew Ross has been making more complicated breads and biscuits down in his bakery and we’ve also been tasting those. Naked barley is so versatile and delicious!  We’ve written another bulletin on beer made with naked malts, look for that one soon. 

For the future: · OREI Meeting/Barley Day: May 31/June 1 at Corvallis.

December 2017

Clockwise from top left: Noodle school with JoMarie Pitino, Buck Naked Beer at Breakside Brewing, Pat enjoying an assortment of barley cookies, Brigid taking tissue from the diversity panel.


  • Fall regional trial: Stand counts taken at most locations. Although it’s a balmy 45° in Corvallis, we should see some winter survival differential at the colder locations (if the trial survives at all). We will be putting together entries for the spring regional trial in the coming month.
  • Diversity panel: Tissue was collected from 400 potential entries and sent in for genotyping on the 50K SNP Chip at Fargo, ND. Spring/facultative types will be sent to collaborators as soon as they are harvested for field planting. 


  • We are meeting with the lead teacher this week to discuss lesson plans for spring.
  • If you have not already identified a lead teacher for your state, please do so in the next month!


  • Buck Naked Beer! A Portland brewery made a great beer using Buck as the main malt; we went up and tasted it and discussed challenges/opportunities associated with naked malt. As described by Pat, it tasted like: “Malt-forward butter biscuits with honey.”
  • Pat participated in a ‘Noodle School’ event with a local pastamaker, using different barley varieties to make pasta.
  • Coming up: Brigid, Pat, Lane, and Andrew will be at the Cascadia Grains Conference talking about and tasting naked barley products with local bakers.

For the future: 

  • OREI Meeting/Barley Day: May 31/June 1 at Corvallis. We’ll get a rough timeline together soon.
  • Pictures! We need pictures from sites other than Corvallis! Please email/dropbox/text your pictures to Brigid so we can post them to social media/websites.
  • Spring planting: regional trial, diversity panel, increase blocks. Start thinking about seed needs/land needs soon!

October 2017

Germplasm: · Fall regional trial planted all locations. Fall increase blocks planted at Corvallis (Buck), Mount Vernon (Buck), and Ithaca (Buck and #STRKR).

Diversity panel: Entries planted in greenhouse for seed increase and genotyping – we were cruelly assaulted by rodents. We have re-planted.

Education: · A day of outreach on the selection unit with Briggs Middle School (Springfield, Oregon). The kids loved it! Partnering teachers are working on a formal lesson plan

Outreach: The Plant Variety Showcase was a dream! Lane Selman’s energy condensed into a single evening… We had 5 delicious barley dishes prepared by some incredible chefs and bakers. Pictures at

To think about: Variety (varieties) for the spring increase blocks: CDC Clear, Meg’s Song, Havener, Julie, Transit, or Goldenheart. CDC Clear is the only modest beta glucan type. Full data coming on these choices – if you have experience with any or all of these, please share with Brigid Meints!

Social Media: If you haven’t checked out our Instagram and Facebook pages and encourage others to follow.