New Varieties of Barley Have Enhanced Nutritional Profiles

New varieties of hulless barley have been developed, which contain more nutrients.

Highland Specialty Grains, Inc. website

Highland Specialty Grains, Inc., a breeder of barley and other specialty grains, announces the availability of new and improved hulless barley varieties. Improved traits include higher protein and more beta-glucan. 

The company acquired barley varieties and germplasm from Westbred in 2014. The acquisition included different kinds of barley, including conventional feed barleys for feed grain, forage barley varieties, and food barley varieties. 

In the ensuing years, Highland Specialty Grains has been working to improve all of the varieties in its portfolio, including the hulless or naked food barley varieties. Hulless or naked barley has a grain for which the flower parts composing the hull do not adhere to the grain. During harvest, the hull is removed from the outside of the grain. 

Examples of improved hulless varieties include high-protein, hulless lines that have grain yields that are over 90% of the conventional check variety with significantly higher protein content. The higher protein content could be advantageous for applications for which more protein is desirable. 

Another example would be the increased content of beta-glucan. Some of the proprietary varieties have beta-glucan content above 15% with better grain yield than older varieties being grown for beta-glucan content. Other agronomically important traits, such as maturity, lodging and tolerance of environmental stresses, have also been improved in the new varieties. 

The improved barley varieties are available from Highland Specialty Grains, Inc., the premier private breeder of barley in the western U.S. 

For more information, please contact Brett Despain, commercial manager of Highland Specialty Grains, at 509-855-8277 or

Source: Highland Specialty Grains, Inc.

About Highland Specialty Grains, Inc.

Highland Specialty Grains, Inc., is a small family-owned plant breeding company based in Washington state. It is the premier private breeder of barley in the western United States. Highland Specialty Grains also conducts research with other specialty grains including buckwheat, specialty wheats, quinoa and yellow mustard.

Highland Specialty Grains, Inc.
39355 Sorensen Road N
Almira, WA