Quality Conventional and Organic Malting Barley Production in Wisconsin
Most of the land in the driftless area of Western Wisconsin is highly erodible. Diverse farm enterprises are needed to preserve land, control erosion, and provide economic development in small rural communities found along the Mississippi River. Malting barley is one crop that may fit the needs for farmers in this area. Barley provides a cropping alternative to a traditional corn/soybean rotation and promotes soil health, is less erosive than corn and soybeans, and can meet a potential growing demand from craft brewers in the state (and region) for local raw ingredients.
Three locations with 21 varieties
- Schlesser/Farmer Demos
- Bragger/Farmer Demos
- Danzinger Farms/Replicated Plots
Fungicide Applications 2 Plots
The goal of the test plot research is to identify spring malting varieties that are best suited to western Wisconsin based on yield and quality. Finding malting barley varieties that can meet malting standards that also thrive in western Wisconsin's climate conditions and differing fertility levels for optimum protein levels is critical to attracting future craft brewers to our malting barley. Several different soil types from deep rich soils to eroded ridge tops and sandy soils are represented by the three participating farmers. Plots will also represent various tillage methods; conventional, minimum tillage, and no-till.
The replicated plot was planted on May 15, 2013 using a Hege plot planter. The 2012 crop was corn silage. 40 pounds of N were applied in the form of urea on the entire plot. The plot was sprayed twice with fungicide, the first time on June 6 with Stratego, the 2nd time on around July 6 (exact date varied with the maturity of the variety) with Prosaro. No herbicide was applied to the plot. Very little weed pressure was seen throughout the summer, with the exception of some late yellow foxtail.
Winter Barley Plots:
The winter plot was planted, following corn silage on October 10, 2012 (extremely dry conditions at planting). Four varieties, including McGregor, OR76, Thoroughbred, and Charles were planted each replicated 3 times. Three fertilizer levels were also included in the plot. Unfortunately, we had 100% death loss in the plot due to the open winter conditions including January rain immediately followed by subzero temperatures. A winter variety plot was planted again fall of 2013 in cooperation with the University of Minnesota to analyze winter hardiness of 19 varieties. As of March 31, 2014, it appears that close to 100% of the winter plot did not survive the winter.
Spring Barley Plots:
Spring plots were 4 foot by 20 foot plots replicated three times. Four varieties; Quest, Rasmussen, Scarlett, and Pinnacle were also planted at 1.3 million live seeds per acre and 1.5 million live seeds per acre. Yield and DON information are found in the table listed below.
Moisture Yield Yield DON
Name % Bu/Acre Dif ppm
Quest 1.3 11.43 110.19 abc 0.09
Quest 1.5 11.80 106.47 a-d 0.06
Rasmussen 1.3 12.30 105.01 a-d 0.21
Rasmussen 1.5 12.23 94.45 a-f 0.16
Lacy 11.80 67.28 efg 0.08
Tradition 12.00 108.90 a-d 0.14
Innovation 11.77 111.06 ab 0.10
Scarlett 1.3 13.40 96.51 a-e 0.08
Scarlett 1.5 13.57 102.93 a-d 0.12
Pinnacle 1.3 14.97 103.15 a-d 0.09
Pinnacle 1.5 15.43 106.75 a-d 0.08
AC Metcalfe 12.83 84.04 a-g 0.06
CDC Copeland 12.60 82.56 b-g 0.10
C131 12.87 76.68 d-g 0.05
Craft 13.60 116.57 a 0.18
Hockett 13.23 101.86 a-d 0.08
C132 13.47 64.30 fg 0.09
C134 18.17 104.06 a-d 0.18
C135 13.30 85.73 a-g 0.08
Odyssey 14.87 100.07 a-d 0.05
Ovature 15.97 87.22 a-g 0.14
Genie 18.60 56.87 g 0.10
NSA 1820A 13.77 77.39 c-g 0.10
Hadley 15.77 99.90 a-d 0.11
LSD (P=.05) 2.402 27.31 0.06
Highlight – high visual Fusarium on barley heads
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Yields were excellent of both 2 row and 6 row barley.
Very Low DON levels were measured, even with considerable Fusarium Head Blight being visibly present before harvest.
Protein levels in the demo plots (Bragger and Schlesser) were 1.5 – 3% higher, indicating that even very poor stands of alfalfa have too much available nitrogen to make good malting quality.