Global Agriculture

Getting the best start for spring barley

7 January, 2021, USA: Getting the seed rate right for your spring barley crop is vital to establish a healthy crop and will help build both yield and grain quality. A thick crop will be more prone to lodging and brackling, and encourage higher levels of disease, whereas a thinner crop, will be more severely affected by adverse weather conditions such as drought stress or waterlogging. 

Also Read: Syngenta experts share crop management advice to prepare growers for the 2021 season

Spring barley varieties have different canopy structures and seed rates can be altered 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 400seeds/ m. Fairing is a lower tillering variety, with larger ear length. Because its straw is stiff, seed rates can be increased to enhance yield. Below is the seed rate table for Syngenta varieties:

It is also important to remember the end use of the variety, higher yields will naturally dilute grain Nitrogen, so if the target market requires high % grain N, fertiliser inputs will need to be adjusted for a high potential crop. More on this in our next article

We’re delighted that Vibrance Duo seed treatment is now approved for use on malting barley, and are excited that all the benefits proven in other crops are being brought to spring barley.

As well as controlling a number of key seed-borne diseases, Vibrance Duo is noted for its ability to improve root growth. This is associated with better access to soil moisture, and is a particularly important consideration with malting barley which is often grown on lighter, drought prone land.