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Spring Barley

Spring Barley N Advice

Nitrogen recommendations for Spring Barley based on soil N index and crop yield potential (kg/ha)*
Soil N Index6.57.58.5
1 135 155 175
2 100 125 150
3 75 95 115
4 40 60 80
To convert kg/ha to units/ac multiply by 0.8

* Proof of higher grain yields is required for an additional 20kgN/ha for each one tonne above a base grain yield of 6.5t/ha

* Higher grain yields shall be based on the best yield achieved in any of the 3 previous harvests, at 20% moisture content.

P & K Advice for Spring Barley

P & K Advice (kg/ha) for spring barley based on different crop yields (t/ha)
Soil P & K Index6.57.58.5
1 45 105 49 115 53 125
2 35 90 39 100 43 120
3 25 75 29 85 33 95
4 0 0 0 0 0 0
To convert kg/ha to units/ac multiply by 0.8
* Higher grain yields shall be based on the best yield achieved in any of the 3 previous harvests, at 20% moisture content.
*Where pH is greater than or equal to 7, 20kg P/ha may be applied on soils at phosphorus index 4.

* Always adjust nutrient applications where organic manures are applied

Suggested N Programme for 7.5t/ha Spring Feeding Barley on soil N index 1
Crop TypeSeedbedMid TilleringGS 31/32
Feeding Barely Option 1
50kg/ha 105kg/ha -----
Feeding Barely Option 2
50kg/ha 70kg/ha 35kg/ha
Feeding Barely Option 3
50kg/ha 55kg/ha
 (GS 12-21)
(GS 24-30)

* Splitting the main N spilt for feeding barley (?:?) reduces risk of N losses (Option 2)

* For thin crops to encourage tiller numbers, split nitrogen during tillering.

Suggested N Programme for 7.5t/ha Spring Malting Barley on soil N index 1
Crop TypeSeedbedEarly TilleringGS 31/32
Malting Barley
45kg/ha 75kg/ha 35kg/ha2

Nitrogen for Malting Barley Research Update

Summary of Teagasc research over the last 3 years shows the following:

  • N rate has the largest effect on grain protein rather than N timing 
  • Results indicate that fertiliser N rates between 150 to 160kgN/ha gives highest probability of achieving malting barley protein specifications where soil N supply is modest.
  • Adjust N rates downwards where soil N supply is high or where organic manures are applied
  • Little effect of not putting N into the seedbed (and putting the first N on at tramlines visible stage instead) on either grain yield or protein content
  • Splitting the main N application had little effect on grain yield or protein on average over seasons and sites
  • Delaying a proportion of the main N application until flag leaf/heading tended to lead to increased grain protein contents but with a risk of reduced yield, and so is not recommended. Applications of N should be completed by GS32
  • Low protein levels experienced in 2011 were due to reduced soil N supply combined with relatively low fertiliser N recovery.
  • In 2012 the higher proteins were due to higher soil N supply compared to 2011.
  • In 2013 soil N supply was similar to 2012 but fertiliser N recovery was higher and in some areas yields appeared to have been limited by drought which further increased proteins.

Requirements for additional N on Spring Malting Barley

The following will be required for additional N application to malting barley crops

1. A contract between the farmer and recognised assembler of malting barley
2. Written advice by an agronomist (level 8 or CCFAS) saying that extra N is needed.

  • Advice is given as per crop recommendation report

3. Additional N can only be recommended where the average protein content of the malting barley supplied by the holding is under 9.5% crude protein.
One year’s records required to show this (one of the past 3 yrs)

  • Records of low proteins as provided by malting barley assembler

  • The reference yield (6.5t/ha) for spring barley to be used to determine the area of malting barley grown.
    For example a grower growing a contract malting barley tonnage of 260 tonnes would require 40ha of malting barley to fill contracted tonnage of grain. Additional N in this example would be 40 x 20kg N/ha = 800kgN.
    From the above 3 pieces of information is required in anyone year to get the additional N allowances for malting barley crops