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I have been growing Champion barley for the last couple years. It is an ok barley, except I straight cut, and it always kinks and breaks down as it ripens, rather than stand well. I see a lot of heads on the ground, and know I am losing yield.

I refuse to swath barley in this wet country, and want a nice straight cut barley for next year.

Any opinions or ideas out there on a better, more resilient barley for standing?

I used to grow copeland, and it held up much better, IMO. Maybe I go back to a minor yield penalty, but actually get the same yield because the heads are staying upright anyway?

Thoughts?
 

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Austensen seems to stand well and not break down like malt barleys do. I don't straight cut but have swathed and combined right behind and we don't lose a lot.
 

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Grew both Champion and Austensen last couple years. Both looked about the same. Granted im in dryland. Found Xena used to stand the best
 

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I am growing a new 6 row barley with heavy bushel weight and higher feed conversion called Amisk. Its the first 6 row to have good bushel weight like a 2 row and has a semi smooth awn helping with the swath grazing people. Rough awned barley can be bad for cattle unless chopped up through bale processor. I met with the plant breeder from Lacombe this summer and he was explaining the higher feed conversion. It also has had a higher percent of plump kernels than metcalf so for a 6 row that will be amazing for me to see. Its still standing in the field looking good but can't comment till its combined. I also grow austenson and ac metcalf all going through early drought and good rains to finish the summer. Austenson has done very good for us over a number of years.
 

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I like the parent Xena. It is also very good. For me, it weathers great. When ripe, the heads hang down. Protects them from rain water as they can drip dry and don't have to stay wet. Quality stays very nice. I leave my barley until last as it is feed and not malt. It does lodge but what barley doesn't?
 

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I've heard anecdotal evidence that fungicide (in season) will help keep the straw from breaking down and heads breaking off in the fall. The cereal experts at Ab Ag don't think this should be true. Haven't been able to prove it here yet, but have some test strips this year, will see if I can find any truth to that. Fungicided strips have been visibly greener all year and it wasn't a bad year for leaf disease.

I have gone the same route, I refuse to put anything into a swath in my part of the world too. A rain, even at this time of year can be impossible to recover from with swaths. I'll take some losses standing, rather than risking 100% loss of never being able to dry a swath. Or the losses of trying to fluff a swath.

As for varieties, I too am looking for the same thing. I know Sundre and Seebe are both straw breaking down before the grain is ripe. I think Vivar is better, it is also less susceptible to most disease which should help in theory. Some locals grow Zena or Legacy ( I believe they are related?), and it appears that they do stay standing better and stays clean of leaf disease too, but I can't say enough bad things about the quantity or the stress tolerance of both, I won't even consider Zena for that reason, but there may be other factors I don't know about, or a local phenomenon. Since you are wet and presumably have heavy ground, Thompson 2 row has very strong short straw and doesn't break down as fast as others. Incredible yield potential, but not much patience for prolonged dry, or light soils. Newdale, a malt barley is supposed to be good for straight cutting also.

I want to find a barley that is good for straight cutting, has rough awns(deer and moose pillage any smooth awn varieties) short straw, as lodging is almost guaranteed, and resistant to leaf disease, as it has been a huge issue in recent years. Not asking for much...

I thought Vivar fit all those criteria, it is very disease resistant, but the first time I grew it, virtually all was lodged flat(rated vg for lodging resistance), and this year without any rain, it is by far the poorest barley I have, very short heads and thin stand, side by side with two other varieties.

I've also found that it is easier to retrieve virtually all of a badly lodged crop than a thinner crop with broken down straw. Either way the header has to run in the dirt, but at least the lodged head is still attached to a stem, which can be drug up with a pickup reel, not much hope of picking up a head hanging just above the ground. Maybe a variety that is bad for lodging is an advantage some years? Intersting to note that the Ab seed guide has no varieties that are bad for lodging, only fair, good or very good....... not sure how they measure that?
 

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Do you folks ever spray a growth inhibitor on the barley to try to get short straw?

I know they do up in Idaho, with mixed results. I think it is dependent on proper application time as to not affect yield.

We did some 6 row this summer that did great, IIRC it was Millenium, but not 100 percent. It did about 135 bushel. If a guy could use growth inhibitor on this one, it would be nice, as it has plenty of straw. It stood fairly good considering the wild wind they had in the area that spring. I would like to see the same field on a normal year. Murphys Law, it gusted up when they were irrigating.

We also did some Criton, and it is a 2 row that does pretty good yield wise, but not as good for standing.

To help get the crop in the head, we rely on Gaterman down grain guards, leave 3 guard points between each one, and leave them on permanently, as they dont affect the standing stuff. They allow us to still get the complete crop, as we did one field flat on the ground and it still yielded awesome.
 

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Of the three varieties I grew this year, Vivar was by far the best for straight cutting. Very few broken or collapsed straws, stood right until the end. As usual, Sundre broke down before it was even ripe.

Very unscientific, but I applied foliar copper to a chunk of Sundre barley, and by fall it was standing far better than everything else, and very good yield. But there were too many other variables to conclude that the copper was responsible.

I couldn't find any visible results to fungicide, regarding straw strength.
 

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You can apply chlormequat or moddus to barley if you want stiffer straw. You can use terpal or cerone or canopy later if you need to seriously reduce the straw height.

Fungicides don't seem to have much affect on straw strength but some of them do enhance rooting.

You will definitely see a response from copper if your land is deficient- copper deficiency results in very poor pollination and in very weak plants and stems, the classic sign is curling awns. If you saw a response from it I would suggest you need to apply it every year routinely.

As I said on another thread, choose a variety that is shorter strawed, and with stiffer straw.

Apply weed control, 1L of Chlormequat and first fungicide at T1- growth stage 31 in decimal or say feekes 6.

If you you think the crop is becoming too big for it's own good as it approaches flag leaf emergence, you can then apply the later growth regs like cerone, terpal etc. Beware of rates and the fact that they seriously give the plant a whack, it won't like it one bit and it will look very ill for a time but it will survive.

Repeat fungicide at T2, in barley I call this 'paintbrush mode'- when the awns are starting to poke out of the stem.

The important thing is to get the tillers you need in barley from the outset, don't let them die or starve. It isn't like wheat which can compensate, with barley the yield is determined very early on.

PRGs are (or should be) dirt cheap, and remember even in the absence of any lodging risk, you will normally get a yield boost from PGRS as you get more even tillers and ears. I have seen this effect in trials many many times.

I have not ever had a barley crop go flat, I get it 'neck' on me a lot- where the stem folds over a bit but you should still have no problem combining it or any yield loss.

Beware land which has high fertility- if you have land which you know has had a lot of cow manure, or worse pig or chicken litter, be very wary of using a lot of nitrogen. Last year I grow a crop of spring barley which did 2.6 tonnes/acre and we applied nothing in the way of fertiliser besides pig muck. It is VERY good at scavenging nitrogen, far better than wheat.
 

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Tried to grow Austenson the last 2 years. On ground that has had manure on it once every 5 years, and not high rates, probably in the area of 2-2.5ton per acre, it goes twisty. Not right flat, not down in one direction, but leans over and grows lots of straw. We wouldn't even consider straight cut, not even where we rolled it. Way to much re growth. The yield and bushel weight is good though. 120 bpa and 50-52 lbs/bu so not bad.

Tried some Amisk this year as well. It grew nice probably 5 feet tall, and fell over. Steam roller flat. Once again on ground with manure application once every 5 years. Thank god it was only 40 ac. Yield was about 90bpa and it weighed 44-47 lbs/bu. Not growing it again.

Have had really good luck with Thompson and Coalition Barley. Both are 2 row's both stand very well, and when they start to go down your looking at about 125+ bpa. Weight on both is generally 50+ lbs/ac. Both are good and plump and roll very nice. Thompson is the shortest of the two, and will also yield the most. Straight cut is almost mandatory, especially on a dry year. Coalition will be taller, but leaves good straw for baling and on a good year will run around 14 tons per acre when cut for silage.

Haven't used any growth regulators yet as I haven't seen one that is licensed for use on feed barley that permits feeding the plant to animals, either as straw or as silage. In this day and age of pass the buck I don't want to use anything off label. That is unless the manufacture of the product takes responsibility in writing that the product is safe. This way if there is a residue found in the meat and its pass back to me I can pass the buck to the manufacture. I'm sure if you get caught using this off label at some point it could come back to bight you. And when your dealing with food, I foresee getting into s*** creek, with out a paddle, no boat, no life jacket and headed for a water fall. I'm sure if someone were to get sick and they trace it back to you, see previous statement.

When getting samples of canola checked at the elevator they wanted to know if it was sprayed with, can't remember the chemical, but its for cleavers. They have a paper to sign that it wasn't. I never asked what the deal was if you had used said chemical, because we hadn't. It would be a nice kick in the nuts if you found out that because you had used something off label that you couldn't sell your crop, or perhaps you could but at a discount. With the money that gets invested into the feedlot, I'm not going to take the risk that something we do could jeopardize the ability to sell the cattle. And being part of the Verified Beef production program, part of this program is record keeping and submitting copies of records and having inspectors come once every 3-4 years to make sure you really are playing by the rules.
 

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I remember Vivar may have been the year, but that stuff was light, skinny and almost impossible to roll. I think that was the stuff that sprouted standing, or that could have been stratus, or stein some variety that starts with an S. I find it interesting that the crops that grow well literally across the road, with similar fertility programs, ours with manure go flat, but yield 10-25% more. I sure hope they get these pgr's registered so we can use them on barley that could be animal feed.
 

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Hi

Nothing I have ever posted on this forum regarding chemical inputs would be deemed illegal under our UK regulations, indeed, I would not be recommending any of my clients did anything off the label as if something went wrong, I would not be insured, and secondly, if you get caught doing anything off label then DEFRA (can and do) might fine you, take you to court, or curtail your single farm payment. I was not suggesting anyone should do anything illegal across the pond, sorry if I gave that impression, I was trying to illustrate what can be done to keep various crops in a state people want. Certainly if nothing else you can conduct a small scale trial and discard the crop afterwards.

As you say, the whole process is heavily regulated- actually everything I do has to be done on a computer where records are automatically kept and the ministry can ask to see these at any time (normally when they do an on farm inspection). Applying manures and fertilisers is treated in exactly the same way. I believe records have to be kept for 5 years, too.

Anyway, moving on, if you are already getting 120 bushels/acre of barley then you are doing very well. The average yield of spring barley here would be around 2 tonne/acre, with yields of near 4 tonne being not unheard of.

Certainly I agree with straight cutting of all cereals, I would not even contemplate swathing barley as the ears will snap off if in the wrong conditions as it is.

I hope your ag depertment see sense and license all these products you guys really should have access to, some of these products have been in use for decades and I really am surprised you guys cant use them, all our crops, whether going for feed or export, or malting or whatever would be treated with some PGRs, it is very rare to see a flat wheat crop these days.

Killing cleavers in canola is very difficult, the only option is something called Galera, which is clopyralid and picloram. Anything else will smash the canola. It is best to apply a chemical pre-emergence called clomazone. It really works very well but has a narrow weed spectrum so it has to be applied in mixture with something else. There are a few other actives you can use in canola but they get expensive very fast.
 

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I have grown 2 row barley for years to get better bushel weight. It seemed that as you pushed the 6 row varieties for higher yields, the bu wt and % of plump kernels went down. I remember trying to feed pigs that 40 something lb barley of the past and it was not good. Xena has been the best all round barley for a number of years for me. 100-130 bu/ac (2-2.8 t/ac) and maintain good seed quality. It leans quite bad but the heads stay on. With lifters on the header I have been able to straight cut it with little problem. Like the whole mat lifts and flows into the combine. Coalition was good , the thickest mat of tillers I have ever seen. It was so thick that the crop dividers on the sprayer just pushed up a big ball of wet green stalks at fungicide time. It yielded 100, good, but not exceptional, but 56-57 lb/bu even under the semi lodged condition. It straight cut well and did not go flat to the ground. That seems to be the key here, is a variety that still performs well, fills, holds the heads at harvest, and stays high enough off the ground to be able to harvest without too much trouble. I have tried Thompson in the past but it seems that we are too dry at some time in the growing season and it just chokes. 60-80 bu/ac (1.3- 1.7 t/ac) . I was surprised to hear that it was still around but then in that area around Red Deer they get more rain. Seems like not that big of a gain in barley yields since the 80s. Leduc, Bonanza, Lacombe all gave me 100-130 bu/ac yields back in the 80s when the weather was right.
 

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Hi

Nothing I have ever posted on this forum regarding chemical inputs would be deemed illegal under our UK regulations, indeed, I would not be recommending any of my clients did anything off the label as if something went wrong, I would not be insured, and secondly, if you get caught doing anything off label then DEFRA (can and do) might fine you, take you to court, or curtail your single farm payment. I was not suggesting anyone should do anything illegal across the pond, sorry if I gave that impression, I was trying to illustrate what can be done to keep various crops in a state people want. Certainly if nothing else you can conduct a small scale trial and discard the crop afterwards.

As you say, the whole process is heavily regulated- actually everything I do has to be done on a computer where records are automatically kept and the ministry can ask to see these at any time (normally when they do an on farm inspection). Applying manures and fertilisers is treated in exactly the same way. I believe records have to be kept for 5 years, too.
......

I hope your ag depertment see sense and license all these products you guys really should have access to, some of these products have been in use for decades and I really am surprised you guys cant use them, all our crops, whether going for feed or export, or malting or whatever would be treated with some PGRs, it is very rare to see a flat wheat crop these days.
I hope I didn't sound like I was suggesting that you were suggesting people use chemicals off label. I was still typing my response as while you posted yours.

It does bring up a interesting item though. When I look at Europe, I see tight regulations on a lot of things in agriculture, weather its good or bad, not my place to say. It is interesting to talk to some of our new farming neighbours who come from Europe. They almost view us as the wild west. All this stuff we can do without permits, and paper work, they love it.
When we look at chemicals, I'm sure they are the same chemical compounds, here vs their. Yet they aren't permitted here. It gets frustrating when there is a product on the market that you could potentially use to make the job easier, or control weeds better, or just make life easier, (ie PGR's stopping lodging.) Some times I wonder how much is actually safety and how much is market protection and politics.
 

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I have grown 2 row barley for years to get better bushel weight. It seemed that as you pushed the 6 row varieties for higher yields, the bu wt and % of plump kernels went down. I remember trying to feed pigs that 40 something lb barley of the past and it was not good. Xena has been the best all round barley for a number of years for me. 100-130 bu/ac (2-2.8 t/ac) and maintain good seed quality. It leans quite bad but the heads stay on. With lifters on the header I have been able to straight cut it with little problem. Like the whole mat lifts and flows into the combine. Coalition was good , the thickest mat of tillers I have ever seen. It was so thick that the crop dividers on the sprayer just pushed up a big ball of wet green stalks at fungicide time. It yielded 100, good, but not exceptional, but 56-57 lb/bu even under the semi lodged condition. It straight cut well and did not go flat to the ground. That seems to be the key here, is a variety that still performs well, fills, holds the heads at harvest, and stays high enough off the ground to be able to harvest without too much trouble. I have tried Thompson in the past but it seems that we are too dry at some time in the growing season and it just chokes. 60-80 bu/ac (1.3- 1.7 t/ac) . I was surprised to hear that it was still around but then in that area around Red Deer they get more rain. Seems like not that big of a gain in barley yields since the 80s. Leduc, Bonanza, Lacombe all gave me 100-130 bu/ac yields back in the 80s when the weather was right.
The 2 row vs 6 rows is a classic here, too.

I have seen 6 row winter barley out yield winter wheat very readily, it is not unheard of.

As you say though the 2 rows have a much higher specific weight but their yields seem to lag behind.

I think this is a breeding thing, certainly in recent years we have seen slightly better specific weights in winter barleys that are 6 row and they have maintained their yields, too.

I do not know why that is, I can only assume that the barley plant isn't as able to support so many grain sites as opposed to a two row.
 

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I hope I didn't sound like I was suggesting that you were suggesting people use chemicals off label. I was still typing my response as while you posted yours.

It does bring up a interesting item though. When I look at Europe, I see tight regulations on a lot of things in agriculture, weather its good or bad, not my place to say. It is interesting to talk to some of our new farming neighbours who come from Europe. They almost view us as the wild west. All this stuff we can do without permits, and paper work, they love it.
When we look at chemicals, I'm sure they are the same chemical compounds, here vs their. Yet they aren't permitted here. It gets frustrating when there is a product on the market that you could potentially use to make the job easier, or control weeds better, or just make life easier, (ie PGR's stopping lodging.) Some times I wonder how much is actually safety and how much is market protection and politics.
I don't understand it either, most of the chemicals we have available belong to American based companies anyway? IE Dupont/Dow etc.

If these chemicals are being put on our crops, and fed to our animals or consumers, I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to use them as well, since a lot of your product ends up inside the EU??
 

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I am growing a new 6 row barley with heavy bushel weight and higher feed conversion called Amisk. Its the first 6 row to have good bushel weight like a 2 row and has a semi smooth awn helping with the swath grazing people. Rough awned barley can be bad for cattle unless chopped up through bale processor. I met with the plant breeder from Lacombe this summer and he was explaining the higher feed conversion. It also has had a higher percent of plump kernels than metcalf so for a 6 row that will be amazing for me to see. Its still standing in the field looking good but can't comment till its combined. I also grow austenson and ac metcalf all going through early drought and good rains to finish the summer. Austenson has done very good for us over a number of years.
How did the Amisk turn out? Trying it for the first time this year.
 

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Since my post in 2015 on this thread, I sold the Coalition barley and was pleasantly surprised that the volume that appeared to be about 100 bu/ac by the bin full, actually weighed out to be nearly 120 bu/ac. Quite a difference in a positive way. It weighed at 56-57 lb/bu and nearly all plump kernels. In the field it was leaning but not flat and straight cut well. It tillered a lot and was so thick it could not fall right to the ground. A variety that deserves another trial.
 
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