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published: 05 Apr 2006 last updated: 08 Aug 2014
Although the barley crop is distributed throughout the world, its supposed progenitor, Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. spontaneum C. Koch, occurred in a more restricted area, namely the Middle East and adjacent regions of North Africa.
Barley is well adapted to a wide range of environments. It is grown in different latitudes from the equator up to the 65th latitude in the north and to the 50th latitude in the south as well as from sea level up to mountain slopes.
Barley is grown as a commercial crop in some one hundred countries world-wide and is one of the most important cereal crops in the world. The Russian Federation, Canada, Germany, Ukraine and France are the major barley producers accounting for nearly half of the total world production.