Fusarium head blight (FHB), incited by Fusarium graminearum Schwabe, has caused devastating losses in both yield and quality of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) produced in the northern Great Plains from 1993 to 2003. Thirty-five barley germplasm lines with partial resistance to FHB have been identified in exotic and unadapted germplasm lines. Little is known about their agronomic characteristics, malt quality, and reaction to other diseases as compared to adapted cultivars. This information is needed so barley breeders can make informed decisions when planning crosses involving the resistant germplasm lines. The objective of this study was to compare the agronomic performance, malt quality, and disease reaction of barley germplasm lines with partial FHB resistance to cultivars grown in the northern Great Plains. Agronomic and malting data were collected on the 35 germplasm lines and five check cultivars grown in five environments in North Dakota from 1998 to 2000. Data for FHB severity and deoxynivalenol (DON, a mycotoxin produced by F. graminearum) accumulation were obtained for the same 40 entries grown in FHB-epidemic nurseries in North Dakota from 1997 to 1999. Seedling responses to foliar pathogens common in the northern Great Plains were determined in the greenhouse during fall 1997. None of the FHB-resistant barley germplasm lines had acceptable malt quality for all traits. Kernel plumpness, grain protein concentration, and malt extract were the traits impacted most severely. The FHB-resistant barley germplasm lines headed significantly later than the adapted barley cultivars. Most FHB-resistant germplasm lines were susceptible to the common foliar diseases of the northern Great Plains. At least four cycles of breeding will probably be necessary to develop FHB-resistant germplasm lines acceptable to producers and the malting and brewing industry.