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Barley is outstanding for its ability to mature in a shorter period than other food crop. It matures in 90 to 100 days, and it is grown mainly in areas where the season of growth is slashed by low temperature or by lack of moisture. Hence, of all cereals it reaches furthest north in latitude and highest up on the mountain slopes. Apart from its use as feedstuff, barley is used for making meals and manufacturing beer and whisky.

Barley Producing areas. Barleys short growing season and its tolerance for slightly alkaline soils make it important in the drier land with a short rainy season, such as those around the Mediterranean Sea, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Australia and California where it grows closer to the deserts than wheat.

The most important barley region in North America stretches northwest-ward from Chicago and corresponds closely to the region of overlapping of spring wheat belt and dairy and corn belt.

In Europe barley covers the continent from the Mediterranean region to the Arctic Circle and from the. Atlantic coast to the Urals. Excepting Russia, barley in Europe is associated with the intensive agriculture and is grown as a feedstuff in the main. Denmark well illustrates the instance by growing 6 times as much barley as wheat for highly developed dairy industry. In the United Kingdom and West Germany barley has as much acreage as wheat.

Russia is by far the largest producer of barley, representing nearly 17% of the world's production.

In Asia, China is the principal producer. The barley grown in Turkey, is not great in quantity but is noted for its excellent quality.

Trade In Barley. About 7 million metric tons were the world's total export of barley in 1987-88. U.S.A. and Canada supplied about 2.5 and 1.4 million metric tons. Argentina, Denmark and France are the other exporters.

Germany, U.K., Japan and Holland are the principal importing countries. They took 1.4, 1.0, and 0.5 million metric tons of barley respectively in 1987-88.

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