Winter malt barley growth, yield, and quality following leguminous cover crops in the Northeast United States
Arthur Siller, Heather Darby, Alexandra Smychkovich, and Masoud Hashemi
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.
Arthur Siller, Masoud Hashemi, Alexandra Smychkovich, Caroline Wise, and Heather Darby
There is an increasing market for locally grown malting barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in the Northeast US. Malting barley must meet certain quality standards for acceptability in the brewing market. Up-to-date recommendations are needed regionally for adaptation to ongoing climate change. A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess the interactive influence of three dates of planting (5 Sept., 15 Sept, and 25 Sept.), two levels of fall N (0 or 28 kg ha-1), and three levels of spring N (28, 50.5, and 73 kg ha-1). No significant difference was detected in grain yield amongst the treatments. The date of planting and fall N application mainly affected crop growth while spring N impacted grain quality. Delayed planting led to better winter survival and reduced lodging and foliar disease. Fall N application reduced winter survival for the early September planting but had minimal other agronomic impacts. Increased spring N application rate increased grain protein and lowered falling number but there were no treatment differences in other quality parameters. Results indicated that late September planting, application of no fall N, and moderate spring N (28 kg ha-1) resulted in highest agronomic N efficiency and grain quality for malting barley in Northeast.