Specific weight, 1000 grain weight, and percentages of grain held by a 2.5 mm sieve and passing through a 2.2 mm sieve were measured in husbandry trials carried out on spring barley at Craibstone, Aberdeen, from 1975 to 1979. Sowing date had the greatest influence on these properties, apparently due more to poor crop development than to increased foliar disease following late sowing. Fungicide treatment, particularly a spray application of tridemorph, resulted in an improvement, but growth regulators, especially when applied late or at high rates, had the reverse effect and both chemicals affected specific weight less than other parameters. The mean specific weight, 1000 grain weight and grain size of a number of varieties declined at nitrogen application rates above 50 kg ha−1, but there were significant differences between varieties, with short‐strawed, small‐grained varieties such as Midas and Maris Mink being most affected. Different levels and application methods of phosphatic fertiliser had little effect on the parameters measured.