Barley is a widely adaptable crop. It is popular in temperate areas where it is grown as a summer crop and tropical areas where it is sown as a winter crop. Its germination time is one to three days. Barley grows under cool conditions, but is not particularly winter hardy. Barley has a short growing season and is also relatively drought tolerant.
Barley grain is a staple food in some cuisines. Barley has also been used as animal fodder, as a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation. In the last ranking of cereal crops in the Union, barley was fourth both in terms of quantity produced and in area of cultivation.