Bringing barley back

Under a blue sky in a field near Corvallis, a combine spits nearly a ton of barley seeds into a bin on the back of a flatbed Ford. Patrick Hayes plunges his hand into the golden kernels. This is the first time he has harvested this variety, named ‘Alba,’ on such a large scale. Hayes, the head of Oregon State University’s barley breeding program, made the genetic cross that gave rise to ‘Alba’ 15 years ago. He has been evaluating it in the field since. He’s hoping that the high-yielding grain will be a hit in beer, food and livestock feed.

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