Spring malting barley agronomy

Spring Barley

The earlier dry conditions in late January/February gave farmers a good opportunity to get spring malting barley crops in the ground in some very favourable conditions. Where crops were not drilled in this window then recent rainfall and variable temperatures has made establishing spring barley crops more challenging. There is a range of development stages across spring barleys, so it is key to adapt management of these crops to maximise yield and quality to meet end market requirements.

Where crops are being grown for a specific market then these requirements should be known and targeted, for example making sure you are targeting the correct grain nitrogen levels for malting or distilling.

With the recent rainfall and increasing temperatures, this is driving potential disease pressure, with net blotch and Rhynchosporium being picked up in early drilled crops, so monitoring crops to see the key disease pressure in your own fields is important. Brown rust is also being picked up and can cycle quickly in a crop so it is key so get on top of rust early to maintain green leaf area.

A 2-spray fungicide approach gives the best protection from key diseases and maximises yield and quality.











The T1 application from GS25-30 helps to remove inoculum in the lower canopy and provide protection for new growth.

Depending on disease present in the crop – KAYAK + prothioconazole will give cost-effective control of key diseases such as Rhynchosporium, net blotch, powdery mildew & eyespot with the triazole also providing brown rust control.

A T2 application GS45-55  provides the largest yield benefit so should be the focus for best product choice.

Where Ramularia is a risk then the T2 timing is key to give protection against this disease – using multi-site chemistry such as folpet will reduce the risk of Ramularia infection as well as efficacy against other key barley diseases. Using ELATUS Era at T2 will give effective control against net blotch, Rhynchosporium and brown rust later in the season and maintain green leaf area.

It is key to maintain a stress-free crop to reduce risk of Ramularia expression – so where nitrogen rates have been reduced there needs to be a balance with crop health. Including AMISTAR at T1 or T2 can help to reduce crop stress and reduce development of other barley diseases.

Keeping a healthy canopy and cell structure within the plant is key and we have seen a reduction of brackling where SDHI products have been included in the disease control programme.

PGR’s should be used where appropriate to manage canopy structure, strengthen stems and reduce overall height to reduce lodging and brackling risk which will impact both yield and quality of the crop. MODDUS included alone at GS30 (T1) will give best activity.

PTZ = prothioconazole