Breeding Barley and Beans for Northwest Washington
Meints, Brigid Margery Anne
MetadataShow full item record
In western Washington, small grains and legumes are valuable to growers as rotational crops that help break disease and pest cycles and rest the soil between the more intensive cash crops such as bulbs and tubers. Because of the high rainfall and fertile soils in western Washington, yields of crops such as barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and dry beans (Phaseolis vulgaris L.) can be higher than under dryland conditions in the interior of the state. However, the price of these crops is set by volume under a commodity system driven by large-scale agriculture throughout the country. Identifying adapted varieties that may not fit traditional market classes offers farmers on the west side of the state the ability to define the value of their crop. The research in this dissertation focuses on exploring regional breeding using barley and dry beans as a model to develop and identify value-added rotational crops for farmers and desirable end-products for millers, maltsters, bakers, chefs, and consumers. Trials were conducted with a focus on developing winterhardy naked barley lines with moderate β-glucan levels and trialing them around the world, testing barley landraces and breeding lines with colored seed coats for agronomic and nutritional properties, and identifying early maturing dry bean germplasm suited to direct combine harvesting. Plant breeding models rely on the people who implement them; to study one aspect of that human factor, an examination of the gender disparity among plant breeding professors at land grant universities was conducted. The outcomes of this research include an array of food barley germplasm in various stages of the breeding process, a new naked barley cultivar, a guide to growing barley in the region, a range of bean cultivars evaluated in western Washington, and perspectives on the gender imbalance within the plant breeding community.