Other Small Grains
OTHER SMALL GRAINS
Spring barley is often stressed from heat and drought and is best adapted to area 1 (see Figure 1.7-1). Yields are often about 60 percent of winter barley when grown under the same conditions in longer season areas. Compared to spring oats, spring barley is less tolerant of low pH and poorly drained soils. Recent varieties such as Benefit, Bailey, Stephen, and Ontario have performed satisfactorily in Pennsylvania. Refer to performance information from Cornell University (smallgrains.cit.cornell.edu/testing.html) for information on these and other varieties. The desired plant population for spring barley is 1.2 to 1.5 million per acre (28 to 34 plants/sq ft). This requires a seeding rate of approximately 96 pounds per acre. The seeding rate should be based on the number of seeds per acre rather than pounds per acre. Refer to Table 1.7-3 when estimating the approximate seeding rate for various drill row spacings. Follow the spring oat recommendations for all other management requirements.
No varieties recommended. Refer to performance information from Cornell University (smallgrains.cit.cornell.edu/testing.html) for information on spring wheat varieties. Yields and test weights are often low.
Generally, buckwheat is grown under contract and varieties are specified by the processor. Current varieties available include Koto, Manisoba, Manor, and Keukett, along with common buckwheat.
Buckwheat is adapted to central and northern Pennsylvania where summer nights are cool. Buckwheat requires ap- proximately 1,300 GDDs (86/50) to mature from planting to harvest. Optimum sowing dates for buckwheat are generally about 12 weeks prior to the first frost, or late June to early July in many areas. In some areas, buckwheat can be double-cropped following winter wheat.
Plant at 0.5 to 1 inch deep and sow at 40 to 55 pounds per acre.
Ideally, maintain a pH between 6.0 and 6.5, but buckwheat can tolerate more acidic soils and produce reasonable yields at pH 5.5 to 6.0. Typical nutrient requirements are minimal for buckwheat with no fertilizer required on many high testing soils. On lower testing soils, 15 to 20 pounds of N, 25 to 30 pounds of P2O5 and 0 to 20 pounds of K2O can be applied.
Plan to harvest when three-quarters of the seeds are ripe (brown and hard). Windrowing for 7 to 10 days prior to harvest can decrease shattering losses and increase yields.
Yields of 20 to 30 bushels per acre are possible.
Winter survival of winter oat lines has been erratic. Consequently, winter oat production is not recommended in Pennsylvania.
Rye is a very adaptable and winter hardy grain that is rarely grown for grain in Pennsylvania. It can be planted from September to December and still produce straw and grain. Winter varieties cannot be planted in spring and harvested for grain or straw. Earlier planting generally results in higher yields. Rye is frequently grown as a cover crop or for forage or straw. Typical seeding rates for rye are 2 bushels per acre (112 pounds/acre), increasing to 2.5 bushels per acres for late seeding. Fertilizer requirements are similar to wheat, with recommended N rates of 50 to 90 pounds of N per acre, depending on yield potential. Rates near the upper end of this range may result in lodging if harvested for grain.
Triticale is a feed grain originally derived from a cross between rye and wheat. Several commercial varieties are available. The crop can be used for feed grain or forage production. It can be cut about 2 weeks later than rye for forage chopping. Varieties are generally taller and higher yielding than wheat for forage. The grain can be used as a substitute for corn in swine ration, and it has a higher lysine content than corn as well. Triticale grain can be fed to all classes of livestock and poultry. Manage winter triticale similar to winter wheat. Performance data of at least a few triticale lines are reported in the annual publication Pennsylvania Winter Wheat and Winter Barley Performance Tests available from county offices of Penn State Cooperative Extension or online at extension.psu.edu/small-grains.
A limited market exists for spelt, either for feed or as a substitute for wheat in some food products. Spelt is a relative of wheat. The growth habit is similar to soft red winter wheat and the hulls remain on the grain and compose 20 to 30 percent of the grain weight. The nutritional value is similar to oats. Seed similarly as winter wheat at a seeding rate of 80 to 100 pounds of hulled seed per acre. Fertilize similar to winter wheat, with the exception that lower nitrogen rates may help reduce the lodging potential of taller varieties. Herbicides are generally not labeled for spelt, so manage to create a dense stand that competes with the weeds. Expect yields in the range of 2,500 to 3,000 pounds per acre.