This study was aimed to detect the extensive variation in activity of α- amylase in Chinesebarley landraces and explore the elite germplasms ng with high α- amylase activity . The α- amylase activity was tested in 257 Chinese barley landraces with the seeds harvested in two years by two methods.The method of 3’5- dinitrosalicylic acid(DNS) was used for the enzym activity test in germinated seed, and the method of falling number(FN) was for the test of dry seeds respectively. The results shown that there was extensive variation in α-amylase activity in Chinese barley landraces, with about three-fold difference between the highest and the lowest. .Generally , enzyme activity reached the maximum in five to six days for most accessions. There was a strong correlation between 2010 and 2011 forα-amylase activity in germinated seed. , But no correlation was found between germinated and dry barley seeds in the enzym activity, suggesting that α-amylase activity in barley accessions does not come from dry seed by the method of falling number.