Barley provides great erosion control and weed suppression and tolerates well dry conditions and light soil. It has a short growing period and it can produce more biomass in a shorter time than any other cereal crop.
If used as winter annual, barley develops a deep, fibrous root system. As a spring crop, the root system will be relatively shallow, but it holds soil well together.
Several studies suggest that barley can reduce the risk of leafhoppers, aphids, armyworms, root-know nematodes, and other pests.