Where Barley Grows

The principal production barley acres in Washington are in the eastern and central portions of the state. The top five barley producing counties in Washington are Whitman, Lincoln, Spokane, Columbia and Garfield.

Most Washington barley is grown on dryland (non-irrigated) grain farms. The majority of Washington’s barley is produced in continuous cropping areas where rainfall is sufficient for a crop to be grown every year. Very little of the state’s barley is produced in summerfallow farming areas. Under the summerfallow system, land is idled for a season to collect moisture then planted to barley or other crops. Irrigated barley accounts for roughly 3% of the state’s total production.

Barley grows well in cool, dry conditions. As a result, U.S. barley production is concentrated in the Northern Plain states and the Pacific Northwest.