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Rethinking Inputs in Winter Barley

Rethinking Inputs in Winter Barley

22 December 2014

UK - With the current winter barley area estimated to be significantly higher this year compared to last, Pete Berry, Head of Crop Physiology at ADAS, discussed how average yields are well below varietal yield potential – even after accounting for lower nitrogen (N) specifications associated with some markets.

As there is a strong relationship in barley between grain number and final yield, delegates heard how the key to yield is to maximise crucial early light interception between emergence and grain set.

Optimising N

New HGCA project results, based on a review of 25 N timing experiments to optimise N timings/rate in winter barley, were presented.

The results showed a 0.5t/ha yield increase from applying more than 50 per cent N before early stem extension, compared with less than 30% N as recommended in RB209.

Delegates were also informed that winter barley with yield potential of more than 8t/ha is hungry and benefited from an additional 27kg N/ha for each tonne above 8t/ha.

On average, the earlier N strategy was found to reduce grain N by 0.1 per cent, which needs to be considered for a variety of market specifications.

Due to increases in lodging risk, the importance of selecting appropriate plant growth regulators was deemed important – in particular, growers were reminded not to rely on chlormequat, where strong lodging was sought.

TheCropSite News Desk

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