Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Barley Farming: To get grain, fodder and good income together, do advanced and commercial cultivation of barley

The demand for barley in the country is increasing at an impressive rate of 10% annually. Farmers should also take full advantage of such a situation.


Barley is cultivated all over the world. Barley is the second largest crop in the world after rice, wheat, and maize, accounting for 7 percent of global food grain production. In India also, it is the main rabi crop. Barley is considered to be the oldest grain. It is also called the king of grains. Barley is also mentioned in the Vedas. Apparently, the history of barley cultivation in India is more than 7 thousand years old. Barley is a versatile crop. It can also be grown in saline, alkaline, low rainfall, and rainfed areas.

The demand for barley in the country is increasing at an impressive rate of 10% annually. Farmers can get a good income by doing advanced cultivation of barley. Barley production has legal protection from the government with a minimum support price (MSP). Barley is also used commercially in addition to grain and animal feed. Its medicinal use is also considerable. It is rich in vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, copper, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Because of these healthy properties, barley has been called a complete food.

Barley Farming

Regular consumption of barley reduces the amount of cholesterol in the blood and relieves problems like heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Consumption of barley and using medicines made from it be very effective in urinary disorders, kidney stones, etc. Fiber (beta-glucan) found in barley benefits human health. That’s why nowadays, beta-glucan is being extracted from barley by food processing technology and mixed with other foods to make them more healthy.

Barley is also widely used in canned baby food made for babies because while barley is another very energetic grain, it has also been found suitable for babies due to its high digestibility. By the way, traditionally, barley is used in our country as sattu, chapati, soft drinks, and other dishes. Its straw is also used in animal feed, cardboard making, and mushroom cultivation. Barley is also used extensively to manufacture candies, chocolates, milk syrups, etc.

60% of Barley consumed in the Brewing Industry

According to experts from ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal, the largest consumption of barley is in the beer industry. 60% of barley production in the country is consumed in the brewing industry. These industries buy good quality barley on hand and also promote contract farming of barley. There was a time when there were very few companies manufacturing barley based agricultural products in India and those too used to import barley from Australia, Canada and European countries. But liberal licensing policies in the 1990s brought many multinational brewing and barley-based product manufacturing companies to India.

Barley Farming

Double Cultivation of Barley for Fodder and Grain

Barley cultivation in the country is mainly done in rain-fed or less fertile land with limited irrigation. But in the arid plains of Rajasthan, Southern Haryana, South Western Punjab and Western Uttar Pradesh, there is acute shortage of green fodder between December and January. Here barley can be grown as green fodder. Forage barley can be harvested 50-55 days after sowing. While for good grain yield, irrigation should be done in the harvested crop and fertilizer should be applied immediately after harvesting. In this way dual-purpose cultivation of barley can be done. For such double benefit varieties RD 2715, RD 2035 and RD 2552 can be grown successfully. With this, 25-35 quintals of grains and 200-250 quintals of green fodder can be produced per hectare.

Why is it important to select an Improved variety of Barley?

It is very important for the farmers cultivating barley that they adopt its advanced varieties. Otherwise, the yield will be less, there will be problems in not getting the right price in the market and farmers will shy away from barley cultivation. This is the reason that after the Green Revolution, the area under barley cultivation in the country kept on decreasing. However, even now barley is cultivated on about 7 lakh hectares in the country. During the year 2019-20, about 16 lakh tonnes of barley was produced on an area of ​​6.2 lakh hectares. Its average productivity was 25.7 quintals per hectare.

Even today, old and low yielding varieties like Manjula, Azad, Jagriti (Uttar Pradesh), BH 75 (Haryana), PL 172 (Punjab), Sonu and Dolma (Himachal Pradesh) are being grown in many states. That is why it is necessary that new and advanced varieties of barley should be adopted to get more yield of barley. It should be selected on the basis of regional use and availability of resources. Due to the development of new varieties, production techniques and improvement in quality, there has been a significant improvement in the yield of barley.

Improved Varieties of Barley Approved for Different Regions of India
AreaVarietiesSowing ConditionAverage Yield (Quintal/Hectare)Utility
North Western Plains: Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan (except Kota and Udaipur), Western Uttar Pradesh, Terai region of Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir and Una and Ponta valley of Himachal PradeshDWRB 92*irrigated, timely49.81Malt
DWRB 91*irrigated, late40.62Malt
DWRB 73irrigated, late38.70Malt
DWRUB 64irrigated, late40.50Malt
DWRUB 52*irrigated, timely45.10Malt
RD 2668*irrigated, timely42.50Malt
RD 2035irrigated, timely42.70Food and Fodder
RD 2508unirrigated, timely23.10Food
RD 2552irrigated, timely46.10Food and Fodder
RD 2715irrigated, timely and anti-nematode26.30Food and Fodder
NDB 1173irrigated, timely, for saline and alkaline soils35.20Food
RD 2624unirrigated, timely24.89Food
RD 2660unirrigated, timely24.30Food
BH 902irrigated, timely49.75Food
BH 393 (Haryana)irrigated, timely44.60Food
PL 419 (Punjab)unirrigated, timely29.80Food
PL 426 (Punjab)irrigated, timely25.00Food
RD 2592 (Rajasthan)irrigated, timely40.10Food
RD 2052 (Rajasthan)irrigated, timely and anti-nematode30.68Food
North Eastern Plains: Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and JharkhandBCU 73*irrigated, timely21.60Malt
K 551irrigated, timely37.64Malt
RD 2552for saline and alkaline soils38.37Food and Fodder
NDB 1173for saline and alkaline soils35.20Food
K 560unirrigated, timely30.40Food
K 603unirrigated, timely29.07Food
JB 58 (Madhya Pradesh)unirrigated, timely31.30Food
K 508 (Uttar Pradesh)irrigated, late40.50Food
Narendra Barley 2 (Uttar Pradesh)irrigated, late32.40Food
Narendra Barley 1 (Uttar Pradesh)for saline and alkaline soils22.30Food
Narendra Barley 3 (Uttar Pradesh)for saline and alkaline soils35.00Food
Central Region: Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kota and Udaipur region of Rajasthan and Bundelkhand region of Uttar PradeshRD 2786unirrigated, timely50.20Food
PL 751unirrigated, timely42.30Food
JB 58 (Madhya Pradesh)irrigated, timely31.30Food
RD 2715irrigated, timely26.30Food and Fodder
Peninsular Region: The plains of Maharashtra and KarnatakaDL88irrigated, timely27.60Malt
BCU 73*irrigated, timely29.70Malt
Northern Hill Region: Jammu and Kashmir (except Jammu and Kathua districts), Himachal Pradesh (except Una and Ponta Valley) and Uttarakhand (except Terai areas)VLB 118rain based, timely30.84Food
HBL 113*rain based/ unirrigated, timely25.52Food
HBL 276**rain based, timely, cold and rust inhibitor23.00Food and Fodder
BHS 380rain based/ unirrigated, timely20.97Fodder
BHS 352*rain based/ unirrigated, timely21.90Food
HBL 316 (Himachal Pradesh)rain based/ unirrigated, timely25.63Food
VLB 56 (Uttarakhand)rain based/ unirrigated, timely25.80Food
VLB 85rain based/ unirrigated, timely15.60Food
For Saline/Alkaline SoilRD2794irrigated, timely29.90Food
NDB 1173irrigated, timely35.20Food
* Two row barley ** Hulled barley

Also Read: Woman Farmer’s Income increased more than 6 times due to Integrated Farming System

Good earning in contract farming of Barley

At present the annual industrial demand of barley is about 3 lakh tonnes. It is increasing at the rate of 10 percent annually. But only about a quarter of the barley produced in the country is used to make beer and malt, because much of the production lacks quality. That’s why many companies have promoted contract farming of barley in different parts of the country. Apart from seeds of varieties suitable for malt, these companies provide farmers with advanced techniques of barley cultivation. From sowing to harvesting, it provides suggestions and fertilizers, weedicides, etc. to the farmers. In return, after harvesting the barley, it buys the produce from the farmers at a predetermined price. In this way, there are immense possibilities of increasing the income of the farmers in the commercial cultivation of barley.

What to do & What not to do for Advanced and Commercial Cultivation of Barley?
What to do?When to do it?How to do?Why to do?What not to do?
Soil TestIn October/May, June after harvest.Take soil samples from the four corners of the field and mix them together. Send about 500 grams of soil from this mixture to the center for close examination.With this, you will get information about the fertility of your field so that you can use fertilizers as per requirement.If there is a pile of manure lying somewhere in the field, do not take sample from there. Do not take sample even from the field with standing crop. Because it will not give correct test report.
Field PreparationPlow the field well in October and apply mulch so that sufficient moisture remains in the soil for sowing. For advanced cultivation of barley, the field should be flat.Use disc harrow, cultivator for 3-4 plowing of the field so that the soil becomes friable. Level the field with laser land leveler. If this facility is not available in the village, then use it on rent from somewhere.Weed seeds like Mandusi do not come up with light plowing and they grow less. Having a flat field saves water and the whole crop gets uniform water.Do not plow too deep. If sowing is to be done with zero tillage, do not use harrow. Laser leveling can be difficult in rocky and hilly land.
Sowing MethodThe field should be well prepared for sowing on ridges. Barley should be sown with drill.Sowing can be done easily with zero tillage in manually harvested fields. For good sowing, while walking behind the drill machine, keep watching the drains of seeds and fertilizers carefully, so that they are properly put in the field.Do not sow on furrows in fields with heavy soil where clods are formed more. Sowing with a drill ensures uniform planting and saves time. The number of plants is more and less due to spraying method and there is a possibility of birds eating the seeds.Due to the formation of more lumps, there is a problem in making ridges, and germination also does not happen properly. After sowing with drill, don’t put a layer, otherwise the seeds get buried too deep.
Selection of Improved SpeciesIn OctoberIn consultation with your nearest agricultural expert/friends, choose only suitable, high quality and production variety for your area.The use of improved varieties will not only increase the yield, but the good quality crop will also fetch a higher price in the market.Avoid old varieties of barley. There is a possibility of damage due to diseases and the production is also less.
Use of Balanced FertilizersAt the time of sowing and after first irrigation. Use nutrients as needed.Half of Nitrogen and full dose of Phosphorous and Potash should be applied at the time of sowing and remaining Nitrogen should be applied by spraying method after first irrigation.All the nutrients are available to the plant with a balanced compost. This keeps the crop healthy and gives good yield.A deficiency of one nutrient affects the availability of another. That’s why don’t put manure and seed at the same depth. Otherwise, germination and yield will be affected.
IrrigationIrrigate/Palewa before sowing in October. After this, give irrigation according to the need of the crop and availability of water.Make ridges around the field and give water by dividing the field into 4-5 parts, irrigation is done quickly and equally.Field preparation will help, germination will be good and crop growth will be good. Water will also be put to good use.Do not give too much water in the field, otherwise there may be loss instead of profit.

Weed Control


30-35 days after sowing.For uniform spraying of weedicide, spray appropriate amount with flat fan nozzle.Weeds reduce the yield and cause economic loss.Do not spray herbicides that are not compatible with each other. Wheat medicines can cause harm in barley crop.
Disease ControlOctober to MarchThere will be no risk of disease by using healthy seeds and disease resistant varieties.Select and use the correct species.Do not use varieties that are not recommended. This can lead to the risk of disease.
Seed TreatmentAt sowingSeed treatment removes the fear of Kanduva and soil related diseases. If germination is good then the plants will be healthy and their ability to fight against diseases will also increase.Use seed treatment drum for seed treatment. Treat 40 kg of barley seeds with 50 grams of Vitavax 75 WP. Sow this seed a day after this.Do not sow without seed treatment.
Treatment for Termite Prevention3-4 days after first irrigation.The outbreak of termites can be avoided by putting soil treated with insecticides. To prevent termites, treat one kilogram of seed with 4.5 ml of chlorpyriphos.Special attention should be paid to wheat crop on the mend in termite affected areas. For the treatment of termites in standing crop fields, spread 3 liters of Chlorpyriphos per hectare mixed with 20 kg of sand or fine soil mixed with 2-3 liters of water in the affected field 15 days after sowing.Do not treat where there is no termite infestation. It is necessary to have proper moisture in the field for the use of anti-termite medicine. Do not sprinkle when the humidity is low.
AphidOn seeing ChepaUsing imidacloprid can keep away aphids. Aphids often start at the edge of the field and then spread through the field. That’s why it should be protected from this pest by spraying on the edges.To control the pest, spray the drug Imidacloprid (Confidor 200 SL) at 15 ml per 35 liters of water on the edges of the field for 2-3 meters.To get rid of Chepa, do not spray the whole field. Friendly insects like ‘Lady Bird Beetle’ are also affected by this. It is very important for these friendly insects to remain active in the field.
Harvesting and Threshingend of March to first fortnight of AprilThe grain should be chewed and if a sound is heard when bitten by the teeth, then the crop is ready for harvesting. If you have to apply more force in cutting the grain, then understand that the produce is ready for storage. Use combine harvester for harvesting and thresher after manual harvesting.Harvesting at the right time gives good quality of the crop. Proper storage reduces the risk of insects in the grains and their germination capacity is maintained.Do not harvest with combine harvester if moisture is high in the grains. Due to this the grains are cut, its quality is affected and the price is less in the market.
StorageFor storage of barley, dry the grains thoroughly. Then store in a moisture free warehouse. Use insecticide in rainy season.Barley produce easily absorbs moisture from the air when kept open in rainy season. There is a danger of getting insects from this.If the grain has high moisture, avoid storage and do not compromise on proper drying of the crop.

Also Read: Modern Farming: Greater Yam Farming: Why is it beneficial for farmers to cultivate Yam in Summer?

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