Management practices for production of local malting barley in Northeast

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2013: $13,967.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Grant Recipient: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Masoud Hashemi
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, oats


  • Crop Production: application rate management, cover crops, crop rotation, nutrient cycling, tissue analysis
  • Production Systems: general crop production

    Proposal abstract:

    There has been growing interest in malting barley production throughout the Northeast as evidenced by increased attendance at outreach events and increased requests for information. The main purpose of this research is to study some best management practices and to develop a comprehensive nutrient fertility protocol for cultivation of malting barley in New England. Two experiments will be conducted at the UMass Crops, Research, and Education Center to identify best practices for growing barley suitable for malt. We hypothesize that use of cover crops before sowing malting barley can significantly improve nitrogen (N) use efficiency and sowing higher seeding rates than feed barley can optimize seed uniformity and maintain relatively low protein without reducing kernel plumpness to unacceptable levels. Four N application rate and mixed cover crop species will be assessed for their contribution to fertility requirement of malting barley and will be compared with no cover crop treatment. Also, we hypothesize that earlier sowing time and higher seeding rates improve barley seed quality for malting. In this experiment we will examine three sowing times in September combined with three seeding rates. We will allow natural infection to occur to assess the importance of regional species of Fusarium. Preliminary identifications will be made by morphology and all isolates will be sequenced (2 or 3 genes) to confirm the identification. Infected grain will be rated visually for disease and assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to determine the relative level of trichothecene toxins (such as deoxynivalenol) and others.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The main objective of this study is to collect and disseminate technical information to support the increasing number of growers in New England who have shown interests in cultivation of malting barley.

    Our specific objectives are to:
    1) Assess the influence of sowing date and seeding rate on barley yield and quality for malting.
    2) Evaluate the contribution of N from cover cropping on yield and quality of succeeding malting barley.

    3) Develop a comprehensive nutrient fertility protocol for cultivation of malting barley suitable for Northeast region
    4) Identify and assess Fusarium infestation of malting barley

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.