Management practices for production of local malting barley in Northeast
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. 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.
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.
Experiment I. Nitrogen management of malting barley (Objectives II, III, and IV):
This experiment has not been started and will begin in 2014. A 2-year field experiment will be conducted at the University of Massachusetts Crops and Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield. The experiment will be a four-replicated randomized complete block with split plot design including a mixture of oat (40%) and four legumes (60%) including crimson clover, fava beans, peas, and sunn hemp plus no cover crop (control) as main plots and four N application rates (0, 25, 50, 75 kg N ha-1) as sub plot. Cover crop mixtures will be planted after harvesting winter crop (late June). Seeding rate for oat, crimson clover, fava bean, peas, and sunn hemp will be 36, 9, 90, 36, and 18 kg ha-1, respectively. Each legume will be inoculated with the appropriate inoculants prior to seeding. Phosphorus, potassium, calcium and sulfur in the experimental site will be determined and applied if needed.
Experiment II. Time of planting and seeding rate of malting barley (Objective I and IV)
To determine the best time of sowing and seeding rate of malting barley, a randomized complete block design experiment was conducted. The treatments include three time of planting (September 1, Sept. 10, and Sept. 20) and three sowing rates (200, 300, and 400 seeds m-2) which are factorially combined and replicated 4 times.
The first phase of this experiment includes land preparation and barley planting in fall 2013. Before planting barley, soil samples were collected from the experimental plots to test the nutritional background of the soil. We postponed counting plants to later in growing season to have a better assessment of survived plants during the winter since me might use covariance for analysis of variance later.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Since the experiment has just begun, no outcomes have yet been determined.
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Graduate Research Assistant
University of Massachusetts
107 Bowditch Hall, 201 Natural Resources Rd., University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Office Phone: 4136959430