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Growing Grains West of the Cascades

General Production

  • Growing Wheat in Western Washington. November 2009. Carol Miles, Stephen S. Jones, Jonathan Roozen, Kevin Murphy, and Xianming Chen. Wheat has been grown in western Washington since settlement began in the mid 1800’s. This manual provides information on growing wheat in western Washington including background information and detailed instructions on wheat varieties, soil management, planting, harvesting, drying, storage, and pest management.
  • Small-Scale Grain Raising: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains for Home Gardeners, and Local Farmers. Gene Logsdon. 2008. This recently updated 2nd edition covers common and uncommon grain production as well as feeding grain to animals.
  • Idaho Spring Barley Production Guide. 2003. Field selection, varieties, seeding, irrigation, fertilization, pest control, and more. Color photographs. Univ. of Idaho. 59 pp. (Bulletin 742)
  • Seed Treatments for Small Grain Cereals. February 2002. This publication explains why seed treatment is important, what kinds of treatment compounds are available, and how they work. (EM8797)
  • Early Growth and Development of Cereals. September 1993. Describes the growth process from seed to mature plant. Discusses root systems, effects of stress, and the principles of heat-driven development including “growing degree-day” (GDD) calculations. Describes the relation between GDD and wheat plant development and the relationships of leaf and tiller production. (EM 8542)

Fertilization and Soil Nutrient Management

Diseases and Pests

Varieties for Washington State

Seed Sources

The document Grain Seed Sources is a downloadable list of seed sources in the U.S. and Canada, showing types of grain seeds available. There is also a companion list of contact information for the listed seed sources.

These lists are designed to help users find grain seed sources. They do not represent a complete list of sources. We do not endorse any of these businesses nor do we detract from any business not listed. Our web site provides links to external sites for the convenience of users. These external sites are not managed by WSU extension. Furthermore, WSU Extension does not review, control or take responsibility for the content of these sites, nor do these sites implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of WSU Extension.


  • Sticky Droppings: A feed-related poultry problem. October 2009. Cereal grains and barley in particular can cause sticky droppings as well as limited nutrient uptake and poor growth in poultry. Washington State University FS002E.
  • Barley for Beef Cattle. December 2006. Barley is an important energy source for livestock. This guide outlines factors that can affect cattle performance when fed barley and important characteristics for choosing high quality feed barley for cattle. (CL332)
  • Wheat: Its Nutritive Value for Beef Cattle. December 2006. Wheat is an excellent energy source for most livestock. However the economics must be right for most growers to include it as part of a feed ration. Cattle Producer’s Library. (CL365).
  • Making Your Own Poultry Feeds. How to feed poultry without using commercial feeds. Harvey and Ellen Ussery, The Modern Homestead. August/September 2006 issue Backyard Poultry Magazine. (Note: Ussery’s have farmed for 24 years at “Boxwood” and Harvey writes for three homesteading magazines: Backyard Poultry, Countryside & Small Stock Journal, and Mother Earth News)
  • Organic Livestock Feed Suppliers. Anne Fanatico, NCAT Agriculture Specialist. August 2006. A resource list for organic livestock producers to locate sources of organic formulated feed rations or feed ingredients. Search by state, type of product, ingredient, or distributor. Businesses included in this list are self-identified – if you are a supplier of organic feed or know of a supplier, please add to the list.
  • Cow-Calf Management Guide & Cattle Producer’s Library. January 2002. An on-line guide including nutrition, range and pasture, and all other aspects of beef calf and cattle production. Written and compiled by a committee of western states extension animal scientists.

Sprouted Grain

Many farmers soak grain prior to feeding it to livestock, particularly poultry. There is little science-based information regarding this practice, however we recognize that it is of interest to many farmers. The following are links regarding this practice. These links are provided as a service to farmers and do not endorse the sources or information or detract from any sources not listed.

  • Sprouted Wheat for Feeding Cattle. Rainfall can cause problems with wheat harvest, including sprouting in the head. Sprouted grain is unsuitable for use in the milling, brewing, and food industries. However, sprouted grain can be fed to livestock. Ted McCollum, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Texas Cooperative Extension-Texas A&M System, Amarillo, TX. 2007.
  • Making Your Own Poultry Feeds. Table 5: Experimental Layer Mix (Winter) with Sprouts Harvey and Ellen Ussery, The Modern Homestead. (Note: Ussery’s have farmed for 24 years at “Boxwood” and Harvey writes for three homesteading magazines: Backyard Poultry,Countryside & Small Stock Journal, and Mother Earth News). August/September 2006.
  • What to Do with Sprouted Grains? Feeding trials with beef cattle, pigs and poultry showed that sprouting had no effect on feed value. It is advisable to blend sprouted grains in finishing rations; sprouted grains should be fed by weight and not by volume. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. Nutrition Update Volume 13 No.3, February 2003
  • Feeding Value of Sprouted Grains. Adverse weather conditions can cause grain to sprout prior to harvest, making it unsuitable for milling, brewing, and food industries. Sprouted grain can be fed to livestock, however there is limited information on its feeding value. Research was conducted to evaluate feeding value with swine and poultry at North Dakota State University. Greg Lardy, Beef Cattle Specialist, NDSU. AS-647, revised September 1999.
  • Sprouting to Enhance Poultry Feeds. Description of the Ussery farm’s methods of feeding chickens on sprouted small grains and (sometimes) peas. Harvey and Ellen Ussery, The Modern Homestead. (Note: Ussery’s have farmed for 24 years at “Boxwood” and Harvey writes for three homesteading magazines: Backyard Poultry, Countryside & Small Stock Journal, andMother Earth News)