Barley Seed

The Versatile Seed

Barley farming is a way of life at Wimberly Farms and  residents around Maryland's Eastern Shore. A member of the grass family, Barley is a major cereal grain and is the most valuable grain next to wheat. It was one of the first cultivated grains and is now grown widely. Barley has also been used as animal fodder, as a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation.Barley is a member of the grass family used primarily for cereal grain.  Barley has been introduced as a very effective seed for fodder programs.  Barley can also be used for grazing in pastures, cover crops for gardens and many other uses. Barley is a short-season, early maturing crop grown commercially in both irrigated and in dry land environments. Because this grain adapts well to different types of environments, it is grown in many regions throughout the United States--including Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Barley Varieties Available for 2022


Early maturing, medium tall, six-row, awnletted, winter feed barley with compact spikes. It is field resistant to powdery mildew, Septoria, scald, net blotch, spot blotch, and barley yellow dwarf virus. Nomini is moderately susceptible to leaf rust races and is not very winter hardy.


Secretariat is a high-yield, high test weight, moderately early heading, short stature, six row winter barley having good winter hardiness. The spikes of Secretariat are erect, strap, and slightly waxy with no overlapping lateral kernels and short awns. It is a potential commodity for feed, food, and fuel ethanol production. Grain of Secretariat is superior overall to those of many hulled varieties. It is resistant toall of the prevalent diseases in the eastern U.S. except for Fusarium Head Blight.

Barley Facts

  • Barley, like all whole grains, reduces blood pressure.
  • Eating barley has been shown to lower LDL "bad" cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • A flood of recent research indicates that barley's ability to control blood sugar may be exceptional, offering an important tool against rising rates of diabetes.
  • Barley has more protein than corn, brown rice, millet, sorghum or rye, and is higher in fiber and lower in soluble (starch) carbohydrates than almost all other whole grains.
  • Barley may help you feel full longer, and thereby help you control your weight.
  • Barley came to North America with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1494, but was not established as a crop on the East Coast of that continent until English and Scandinavian settlers cultivated barley largely to make beer. Meanwhile, the Spanish took barley to the Southwest and Western part of the continent and to parts of South America.
  • Barley is a highly-adaptable crop, growing in places as disparate as north of the Arctic circle, in tropical Ethiopia, and at high altitudes in the Andes mountains of South America.