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Effective Establishment of Spring Barley

Good establishment is one of the first steps to maximising your spring crop's potential: 

Drill timing

With large areas of planned winter cropping not being drilled, it is expected that there will be a large spring cereal area. Spring barley can be drilled any time from December and with drilling opportunities over autumn being few and far between, some growers may be keen to get crops in the ground. Early drilled crops will have the highest yield potential but are likely to require greater disease management as canopies are likely to be thicker earlier creating a more ideal environment for disease development. Later drilled crops will have less time to produce tillers and as barley is sink-limited, it would be advisable to increase seed rates to ensure a good number of ears and maximise yield potential. If growing for a specific end-market, you may be interested in minimising screenings. The best way to do this is to avoid excessive plant populations and very late planting so the grains have time to fill.

Seed rates

Below are recommended seed rates for our spring barley varieties: 

Seedbed preparation

The ideal seedbed for spring barley is fine, well-drained and not too cold. Early sowing into cold or poor seedbeds may lead to reduced establishment, however, early-sown crops have more time to compensate. Late sown cereals in spring drought conditions can also lead to poor establishment. Consequently, it is essential to adapt to the conditions to give your spring barley the best start. If it is particularly dry it is important to conserve as much soil moisture as possible which can be achieved by minimising soil movement.  You may wish to increase planting density to account for lower plant establishment.

Agronomy Issues