Frost Damage Hits Some Early Barley Lines

Several early heading barley varieties in our trial at Rock Springs suffered damage from the frost event last week. The symptoms are white heads or sections of heads.
Frost Damage Hits Some Early Barley Lines - News

Updated: August 31, 2017

Frost Damage Hits Some Early Barley Lines

Damage to the heads varied from full mortality to none across a small area. Photos: Greg Roth, Penn State

Two weeks ago we reported on the potential for small grain frost injury in wheat and barley. This week we noticed symptoms of frost injury on two of the lines in our feed barley test that were some of the earliest heading lines in the test. Other barley lines did not show any symptoms. The symptoms were scattered white heads throughout the stand.

The take home message is that the earliest heading lines have some risk of spring frost injury. Also, frost injury was not uniform across the plot or farm. The worst seemed to be in the lowest lying part of the field. At the farm office, they registered a low temperature of only 30F, so I was surprised to see this amount of injury. Our adjacent early Aroostook rye which had headed also had some frost injury to the heads. Later ryes and wheat varieties did not appear to be damaged. Our malting barley test, which was composed of later heading lines, did not show any injury.


Grain crop management Corn management and hybrid evaluation Corn silage management Soybean management and variety evaluation Winter wheat management and variety evaluation Winter barley management and variety evaluation Interseeding cover crops in corn and soybeans

More by Gregory W. Roth, Ph.D.