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Crop Production Cycle - Winter Barley

The soil type at Kildalton College is a well drained fertile soil with good water retention in a dry spell. It is ideal for the growing of winter barley. Claire Bambrick, tillage lecturer at the college gives information on the current crop being grown for Farm Walk and Talk with AgriAware

The soil in the field displayed is classified as a brown earth soil, a medium soil type and ideal for winter barley. To avoid some common diseases this crop was sown in October 2020 after a crop of oats. It is important to choose a variety of winter barley with good resistance to diseases. 

Crop nutrition and disease control 

The starting point for any nutrition and fertilizer program is testing the level of nutrients in the soil. This includes pH testing as well as phosphorus and potassium tests. The crop received nitrogen in early March, phosphorus and potassium was also applied.

Most crops of winter barley will receive 1 or 2 plant growth regulators during the growing season depending on lodging risk. The first will help to strengthen the stems and the second will help to reduce stem height which reduces risk of lodging. Most crops of winter barley get 2 or 3 sprays for disease control. 

The crop will harvested from mid to late July when the moisture content of the grain is less than 20%. It is hoped that the crop will yield 10 tonnes to the hectare.

View more Farm Walk and talk videos here