Research Updates

October 2018


Clockwise from top left: Diversity panel getting prepped for planting; gradations of roasted Streaker; layer birds involved in the barley poultry feeding study; Laura and Brigid are excited about making barley pancakes for middle-schoolers; planting cover crops on our research organic ground.


• Regional trials:

o Fall regional trials were planted successfully!  Stand counts and early vigor ratings should be done soon after emergence.
o Send Brigid all data from the fall and spring trials once post-harvest analysis is complete.

• Diversity panel:

o Please send Brigid all data from the spring trial once it is compiled.
o We are in the process of ordering the Illumina chips for genotyping in Fargo.
o Fall trials were successfully planted, please do early vigor ratings once the barley has emerged.

• Increase blocks:

o Fall increase blocks are being planted in Oregon, Washington, and New York.

Quality testing:

• Food testing:

o We are working on figuring out which phenotypes we will be able to analyze on which trials. Please send in clean seed weights if you haven’t already!
o All collaborators who successfully grew Buck, CDC Clear, or Purple Valley last year should send 10kg of seed to OSU for more extensive baking tests.

• Malt testing:

o If you have not already, please send in seed to the CCRU for malt quality analyses from one rep of all entries in both trials.
o We will be postponing our larger scale brewing tests with OSU fermentation science to next year when we have higher protein bulk seed.

• Feed testing:

o We have delivered Streaker to Jim Hermes for our poultry feeding study, which is occurring this fall/winter.


• The classes in Oregon is looking at natural vs. agroecosystems this year. We went to their classroom to help plant seeds and eat barley pancakes. The lesson plan and corresponding slides will be distributed soon.


• Pat, Laura, and Brigid spent a morning with Hummingbird Wholesale testing their new roaster in order to work on potentially commercializing roasted Streaker tea with them.
• We will be doing our first webinar with eOrganic in early December (exact date TBA).

September 2018

• Regional trials:

o Everyone is finishing up analysis of the fall and spring regional trials from 2018. I
o The fall regional trial 2018-19 has one new entry. Seed was shipped to all collaborators and trials are starting to get planted.

• Diversity panel:

o The entire panel is now finalized with 384 entries.
o Seed for the fall trial was shipped out to all collaborators.
o Starting the genotyping process this fall.

• Increase blocks:

o Oregon, Washington, and New York should have 1 acre blocks again this fall.
o Stay tuned for a document that will be sent out soon to assess how the increase blocks from last year performed.
o All collaborators who grew Buck, CDC Clear, or Purple Valley last year should send 10kg of seed to OSU for more extensive baking tests.
o Collaborating farmers will receive $500 to cover land use and inputs


•  We’re creating new lesson plans for this school year in Oregon. 


• The OSU and Cornell programs had tables at Variety Showcase NYC last week. We worked with a chef who made a braised and sprouted barley dish. Additionally, we had a table outside at the Union Square Greenmarket and handed out barley shortbreads and recipe cards (made by Andrew Ross) to the general public. Great event and lots of barley interest!
• Following the Variety Showcase, June Russell organized a naked barley event. We prepared hot steeps, roasted barley teas, and crackers made from Buck and BB99 for participants to taste. Brigid and Mark Sorrells presented and we got some great feedback from participants.
• Andrew Ross also prepared crackers and wheat/barley rolls for an event. The governor of Oregon is now a fan of barley!

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.