Winter malt barley growth, yield, and quality following leguminous cover crops in the Northeast United States

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Publication Date

2021

Keywords

malting barley; malt quality indices; summer cover crops; sunn hemp; crimson clover; seeding rate; nitrogen management; winter barley

Disciplines

Agronomy and Crop Sciences

Description

There is growing interest in malt barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) production in the Northeast United States. This crop must meet high quality standards for malting but can command a high price if these quality thresholds are met. A two-year field experiment was conducted from 2015–2017 to evaluate the impact of two leguminous cover crops, sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) and crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), on subsequent winter malt barley production. Four cover crop treatments –sunn hemp (SH), crimson clover (CC), sunn hemp and crimson clover mixture (SH+CC), and no cover crop (NC) – were grown before planting barley at three seeding rates (300, 350, and 400 seeds m–2). SH and SH+CC produced significantly more biomass and residual nitrogen than the CC and NC treatments. Higher barley seeding rates led to higher seedling density and winter survival. However, the subsequent spring and summer barley growth metrics, yield, and malt quality were not different in any of the treatments. There is much left to investigate in determining the best malt barley production practices in the Northeast United States, but these results show that winter malt barley can be integrated into crop rotations with leguminous plants without negative impacts on barley growth, yield, and grain quality.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.7275/w945-3c59

Grant/Award Number and Agency

NE SARE GNE 13-066

Winter malt barley growth, yield, and quality following leguminous cover crops in the Northeast United States

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