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Spring Malting Barley - May update

Spring malting barley crops are performing very well on farm. Favourable weather conditions in both rainfall levels and temperatures since sowing have meant that many crops are on track to reach their full yield potential. Eoin Lyons Teagasc/Boortmalt Joint Programme Advisor updates us here

Most barley crops established extremely well with many crops having in excess of 320 plants per meter squared which is above the target of 300. The majority of crops have also tillered well, with an average of 4 shoots per plant. This means that crops are on target to reach 1000-1100 heads per meter squared that is required to produce a high yielding crop of barley. 

Weed control

Weed control in some crops was slightly delayed this year, mainly as a result of the cold night time temperatures that occurred at the start of tillering. However, herbicides were generally applied to crops at the start of May and weed control has been excellent. The rise in average temperatures since the start of May has increased growth rates in barley crops which has also helped to alleviate any stress in crops that may have been caused by the herbicide application.

Disease control

The bulk of spring barley crops will now be approaching the end of tillering and will require a fungicide application. Teagasc research has shown that a two spray fungicide programme in spring barley will be sufficient for the control of the major diseases. The timings of these two sprays should occur at mid to late tillering and a follow up application at the awns emergence stage or paintbrush stage. The research also showed that a half rate of any product will be sufficient for disease control however if applying a half rate, correct timing of application is crucial. Most barley crops to date are relatively free of disease, however it is important to remain vigilant for signs of disease especially with varieties that have poor disease ratings such as net blotch in Planet.

 Eoin Lyons Teagasc/Boortmalt Joint Programme Advisor tells us more in the video below. 

Get more information on this crop at Spring Malting Barley Factsheet (pdf)

Find out about the Malt Barley Joint Programme between Teagasc and Boortmalt.

Find out more information and advice from the Teagasc Crops team here.   The Teagasc Crops Specialists issue an article on a topic of interest to tillage farmers every Thursday on Teagasc Daily.  Find your local Teagasc office here