Our Grains

About Washington Grain

For 20,000 years humans have been eating wheat. First as seeds from the heads of wild relatives, then pounded into a crude flour which was made into flat breads beginning about 14,000 years ago. Small grain farming began in the “Fertile Crescent” of the Middle East about 12,000 years ago.
Eastern Washington is known around the world as the home of soft white and club wheat production, low protein wheats that are used in cookies, crackers and cakes as well as flat breads. Washington farmers also raise superb hard red winter and spring wheats for bread.
A crop as old as wheat, barley is primarily used to feed livestock today, but research has shown barley to be a heart healthy ingredient, rivaling oats for that distinction. Malt barley is also an essential ingredient in beer or as the industry catchphrase puts it: No barley, no beer.
Sliced Bread

Bread Boosts the Microbiome

After a decade of being hammered by gluten-free claims, (gluten is a protein in wheat that causes bread to rise when flour is mixed with water), wheat has recently been touted as an essential part of ensuring a healthy gut microbiome. The microbiome is the collection of trillions of microorganisms, mostly bacteria, that live in and on our bodies and regulate many human functions. Bread has been shown to be a foundation of a healthy gut microbiome, a reflection of its long history in human diets.


Eastern Washington is home to some of the best wheat quality grown in the world. Washington ranked fourth among the nation’s top wheat producing states in 2023. In addition, wheat comes in fourth among the commodities grown in Washington representing just over $750 million based on production value in 2021. Washington is one of the nation’s leading wheat-exporting states with 85 to 90 percent of its production exported each year.


Most barley grown in Washington is spring barley which is planted in early spring and harvested in late summer. In 2023, Washington barley growers harvested 84,000 acres of barley which had an average yield of 53 bushels per acre (1.15 metric tons per acre). Total barley production for 2023 was 4.45 million bushels or 96,855 metric tons.

Scroll to Top