Crop Protection

Establishing the optimum number of plants is key to achieving spring barley potential

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09 March 2023, UK: As spring barley has a shorter growing season than winter barley it can’t rely as much on tillering to boost yields therefore plant establishment numbers are key. Getting the seed rate right will also help build a more resilient crop, that can perform whatever the season throws at it.

In conventional tillage situations, spring barley prefers a fine and well drained seedbed to give it the best start. Syngenta trials in 2021 found that in the first year of direct drilling, establishment was lower, so seed rates may need to be increased to achieve the optimum plant stand.

The target plant establishment for spring barley is around 300 plants per m2 to achieve the optimum yield and quality. However, spring barley varieties have different canopy structures and build yield in different ways, so seed rates can be tailored to suit each variety:

LAUREATE is a higher tillering variety and produces many small ears. Very high seed rates will boost yield up to a point, but the risk of lodging increases, and tillering is slowed. Trials have shown that Laureate yield levels off at a seed rate of over 400 seeds/m2.

FAIRING is a lower tillering variety with larger ear length. It builds its yield with a higher number of seeds per ear. Because its straw is stiff, seed rates can be increased to enhance yield.

SY SPLENDOR has strong straw and high specific weight. The plant structure allows this variety to handle a higher seed rate to increase the smothering effect of grass weeds.

Below is the seed rate table for Syngenta varieties:

seed rate table for Syngenta varieties

Seed rates on this table start from 325 seeds/m2 depending on month sown and region, other factors such as seedbed conditions, soil moisture and temperature should also be considered.

Click here to view our seed rate table online

The “VIBRANCE Effect” in spring barley boosts rooting and improves establishment, leading to a more resilient crop.

Establishing good root structures can be particularly important in spring cereals. The past few seasons have seen extremes of weather including dry spring conditions which can lead to plant stress especially on the typically lighter soil types used for growing spring malting barley. VIBRANCE Duo seed treatment in spring barley boosts rooting and improves establishment, leading to a more resilient crop. The dressing also gives excellent control of key seed-borne diseases which can drastically impact establishment, yield and grain quality. It has approval by the British Beer and Pub Association and Campden BRI for use on malting barley and is an excellent option to maximise yield and protect quality.

Also Read: Indian government to launch Seed Traceability System for good quality seeds

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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