Winter Barley Trials Photo: Greg Roth
The results of the 2016 and 2017 Spring Barley trials have been posted online. For the both years, we have yield and quality data from our Penn State location and also the average yield and quality data for the 12 locations in the trial. These evaluations were funded by the Brewers Association and organized by North Dakota State University.
Spring barley is best adapted to the cooler regions of the state. It prefers early planting on well-drained soils with a pH at or above 6.5. We planted no-till in early to mid April and applied 50 lb of N after emergence. We have had trouble with Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus in the past so we applied an insecticide along with the herbicide post emergence at the 3-4 leaf stage. Production details are listed under one of the tabs in the excel file for each year.
In 2016, we had an exceptional year for spring barley with a cool dry summer. Yields and grain quality were high. In 2017, we had a wet July which contributed to lower yields, higher levels of DON, lower germination levels and some preharvest sprouting. We did not treat with a fungicide either year, so this could be reduced with appropriate management in production fields. Preharvest sprouting is associated with a stirring number of <120.
Varieties with higher stirring numbers in the multilocation averages likely have more resistance to preharvest sprouting. The ideal variety for our malting industry would be a two row and have high yield, high stirring number, and low DON across multiple locations. Synergy is a commonly grown line in our region and has had consistently high yields but tends to have lower stirring number values.