Barley is a cereal grain derived from the annual grass Hordeum vulgare. This widely adaptable crop is popular in temperate areas where it is grown as a summer crop and tropical areas where it is sown as a winter crop. In India, it is grown in the rabi season.
This cereal has many uses. It serves as major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures.