Most barley producers in the region grow barley for malt and select varieties approved by the American Malting Barley Association (AMBA). The most important industry specifications for making malting grade are low grain protein (11.5%-13.5%), kernel plumpness (>80%) and low deoxynivalenol or DON content (<2 ppm). DON is the toxin produced by the Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) pathogen.
In addition to yield and acceptable malt quality, disease resistance plays an important role in variety selection. Disease evaluations are carried out in inoculated field and/or greenhouse experiments.