Malting Barley Production

California had a long history of growing malting barley and hops before and after prohibition. The recent growth of the craft brewing industry in California has spurred a renewed interest in malting barley in the state. Malting barley is a robust grain that has relatively low water and fertilizer requirements, making it a sustainable option for various crop rotations. However, grain quality requirements are narrower for this crop than other small grain options in California.

Agronomy Fact Sheets

Regional Variety Summaries

Fall Planted (PDF | Excel)

Fall Planted Rainfed (PDF | Excel)

Spring Planted (PDF | Excel)

For a broader set of small grain variety information visit our Variety Selection page.

Seeding Rate Calculator


The University of California Small Grain Seeding Rate Calculator is a tool that helps determine seeding rates depending on the planting conditions and the average seed weights of different small grain varieties.

Presentation Videos

Nitrogen Management for California Malting Barley

Web Resources for Small Grain Variety Selection


Blog Posts

  • Seeding Rate Calculator Now Available

    Seeding Rate Caculator

    Seeding rate is an important consideration for small grain growers at planting. There are a number of agronomic factors that help to determine the ideal seeding rate such as whether a field will be irrigated, the potential for weed pressure or lodging,...

  • Malting Barley: New Resources Available

    Malting Barley in the Tulelake Basin

    California's craft brewing industry is continuing to expand its market presence in the state. However, only a small percentage of malting barley used in California is grown within its borders. The primary bottleneck in the supply is the lack of malting...

  • Alternative Crops: Malting Barley

    Immature two-row Malting Barley, Butta Variety, Sacramento Valley near Capay, CA

    Fluctuations in commodity prices mean that wheat can be a darling or a demon. When prices are high, wheat can command more acres pushing up the prices for canning tomatoes. When prices are low, growers are inclined to look at wheat's value in terms of...