Barley is an annual cereal crop consumed as a major food and feed. Basically a grass crop and is considered to be the fourth most-important crop in the world after wheat, maize and rice. In India, it is mostly cultivated as a Rabi crop. Sowing normally takes place between October and December. Harvesting starts from end-March until mid-April in the northern states, whereas in the central and southern states, harvesting takes place from February to May. Barley requires cool weather during early growth and warm and dry weather at maturity. It grows reasonably well in temperate as in sub-tropical regions of the world. Being drought resistant, barley suits areas with scanty rainfall. Sowing of barley in India takes place during October to December. Barley can be grown successfully on those land soils, which are suitable for wheat cultivation. However, it thrives well on well-drained fertile land with deep loam soils. It is generally rotated with crops, such as bajra, maize, paddy, jowar, cotton, groundnut, smaller millets, moong and moth in different parts of the country. 78% of Barley production is used by Breweries - for beer production. In India, barley is largely grown in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, with a contribution of 34%, 30% and 12%, respectively, in total acreage. Barley is also grown in Punjab, Haryana, H.P, Bihar, Uttaranchal, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir Chhatisgarh, W.B., Nagaland, Maharashtra, Sikkim and Delhi. The major markets are located in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The three largest Barley markets are Kota, Ramganj Mandi and Baran in Rajasthan

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