What caused these deformed barley heads?
Nearly all later emerging heads down below the canopy are deformed in various ways. Most tall earlier heads look mostly normal. Most of the late heads are unable to get out of the sheath, and are coming out the side, ratty, blank warped heads. But others have a second head branching out of the first head, or a second head further down the stem. Or appear to be a 6 row at the base of the head then back to a 2 row. Or the bottom few kernels are fanned out, the top are tight like usual. One in the picture is completely twisted up and deformed still inside the leaf. I found one wild oat with similar deformation, also in the picture.
Only the second year I have cropped this piece. Hay or oats forever before that.
Certified Sirish is the variety, first time I've tried it.
Seeded around the 24th of May, direct seeded into canola stubble, preseed was roundup only.
Came back at ~ 3 leaf stage with 2-4D Ester for persistent alfalfa and volunteer canola.
Spot sprayed wild oats with full rate Axial at the same time.
Thanks to all the rain, a lot more wild oats showed up, and hemp nettle which the 2-4D didn't touch, so in 3rd week of June I sprayed the entire field with 2/3 rate of Axial, and MCPA. Still tillering, not quite flag leaf.
The crop got off to a very quick start, and canopied over quickly, but was really slow heading. I was blaming the Axial, since it is usually really obvious where it has been sprayed, by the crop being set back and pale for a while, except it wasn't any worse where it was spot sprayed the first time.
All crops are way behind thanks to no heat or sun and constant rain all summer, but this one is even further behind than the rest, still green as grass and still putting out more (deformed) tillers.
Has been almost ideal growing conditions especially on this well drained flat soil.
The normal heads have the odd kernel completely missing, and some random kernels turning brown, seeing the same thing in another field with Sirish, but didn't see any deformed heads there, will look closer. May be from hail, there have been some very minor hail storms.
Another field with Newdale ( 2 row also) seeded late for greenfeed into muddy, low, compacted ground has areas with heads unable to come out properly, coming out the side, mostly in really poor areas that had really bad water stress, higher areas look normal. But didn't see such deformations as this, the heads appear to be normal other than growing in a circle with the beards caught in the sheath.
Could this be herbicide damage?
Downy Mildew (also called crazy top) apparently causes heads to look like that, but I can't find much information on it.
My first thought was Aster Yellows, they devasted barley here in 2012, lots of deformed blank heads, but the canola a few feet away from where I picked these plants has no sign of Aster Yellows.
The picture I took in the dark is awful. First head is normal at the top, almost 6 row at the bottom, second is two heads on the same stem, the top head in that picture is typical of most of the late heads. 3rd is a second head growing out of the first. 4th is a head all twisted up and contorted in the sheath. 5th is a wild oat with similar deformations, right in the corner, so likely escaped any herbicide. None of these were from areas that were spot sprayed the first time.
Justin Trudeau, accomplishing miracles since 2015, making Pierre Elliot look smart, competent and western friendly.