Barley - Tamalpais


‘Tamalpais’ is a naked grained (hulless) spring food/feed barley released by the California Agricultural Experiment Station in 2008. Tamalpais is adapted to the Central Valley and surrounding foothills with sowing in November through December.


Tamalpais barley was selected from the hybridization of the ICARDA/CIMMYT barley line Ataco/Achira//Higo (CMB 91A-1192-AL) with ‘UC960’ in 1997. A final head row was selected in the F5 by Lynn Gallagher, UC Davis barley breeder, and placed into a preliminary grain yield trial in 2002. In 2003 the selection was designated UC1134 and placed into California statewide grain yield trials for evaluation. Kernels are short (<8mm) and the aleurone is transparent (non-blue). In absence of the hull, the grain weight of Tamalpais at 39.3 mg/kernel was less than that observed for UC 933 (41.1 mg/kernel), UC 969 (41.1 mg/kernel), and Ishi (43.1 mg/kernel) in eight trials. Resistance to shattering is good and not significantly different from other UC cultivars. For time to heading Tamalpais was 7 days later than UC 969, one day later than UC 933 and two days earlier than Ishi. For days to maturity Tamalpais was six days later than UC 969 and one and one-half days earlier than Ishi but similar to UC 933. The only observations for heading time and maturity during four years were made at UC Davis.

As a new specialty crop the grower may like to find a new market for his naked grained barley. Use in soups, rustic bread, pet food or as a bird feed (preferred over wheat by pigeons) are among the possibilities.


Tamalpais is not meant to replace ‘UC 933’ or ‘Ishi’, which are both hulled semidwarf spring barleys, but to supplement them, thereby giving growers greater choices depending on marketability or end use of a potentially new product. Plant height was measured in 26 environments. For stature Tamalpais averaged 28.8 inches but varied widely from 17 to 39 in height depending mostly upon available soil moisture. Stature for other varieties averaged as follows: UC 933 (30.2 in), UC 969 (31.8 in), and Ishi (30.5 in). Only UC 969 is not a semidwarf barley. In 13 trials where lodging occurred, Tamalpais was similar to UC 969 with about 4 to 14% lodging whereas UC 933 and Ishi had 15 to 29% lodging on average. Hence Tamalpais has good lodging resistance.


Resistances to common California barley diseases are generally good. In 14 trials where leaf yellowing was observed because of Barley yellow dwarf virus, no significant differences were found among the varieties Tamalpais, UC 933, UC 969 and Ishi. Leaf yellowing was minimal. Small amounts of stripe rust have been observed in the trials and on average differences among varieties were not significant. However the highest level of infection (worst case) was as follows: Tamalpais (3.3), UC 933 (1.7), UC 969 (4.3), and Ishi (2.3) on a 1 to 8 scale wherein 1=0 to 3%, 2=4 to 14%, 3=15 to 29%, and 4=30 to 49% coverage of the flag (highest) leaf. These infections may arrive late in the growing season and may not cause a reduction in grain yield. 

However abundant stripe rust has been found on susceptible barleys and may very be serious if it arrives by late February and conditions are ideal for the spread of the disease. The resistance of these varieties in the past is not a guarantee of future results. So far the resistance has held up.

Scald levels were low on the four above cultivars over the last four years and no significant differences have been observed among them. The worst observation on Tamalpais was less than 4% coverage of the flag leaf in one of 26 trials. In 8 of 26 trials leaf rust was scored. In the worst infection scenario for leaf rust, the following scores were noted: Tamalpais (1.0), UC 933 (5.8), UC 969 (2.0), and Ishi (3.5). The same scale above was used as noted above with 5=50 to 69% coverage of the flag leaf. 

Generally leaf rust arrives quite late in the growing season and little or no grain loss occurs. Tamalpais does demonstrate good resistance to leaf rust.

Powdery mildew was observed in only two of 26 trials and each time Tamalpais had less than 3% flag leaf coverage. There are not enough data to draw a conclusion about resistance to powdery mildew.


Tamalpais has been tested for grain yield over the last four years through the 2007 harvest. Grain yield over 26 trials averaged 4,022 lb/acre which was less than ‘Ishi’ having 4,328 lb/ac and UC933 having 4,194 lb/ac but more than UC969 having 3,852 lb/ac. No adjustment was made for the loss of hulls, which may account for about 12.5% of total weight, in these measurements. Tamalpais hulless barley does not thresh as well as wheat and small or “pinched” grains may not thresh at all, but appropriately cleaned, plump grain should thresh well above 90% free. As a result of nakedness Tamalpais has a very high test weight for barley. Over 23 environments Tamalpais averaged 55.2 lb/bu compared to the following hulled barleys: UC969 (52.2 lb/bu), Ishi (49.8 lb/bu), and UC933 (49.6 lb/bu).