The standard seed rate of 350 seeds/m appears to be the ideal seed rate for many of the spring barley varieties when good seedbeds and growing conditions are conducive to quick plant emergence, statesRon Granger, Limagrain UKs arable technical manager.
This season is no different, as growers should be patient and delay drilling, until good seed beds with warming soil temperature sensure quick plant establishment spring growing crops do not like growth checks.
We have carried out trials, looking at variety interaction with seed rate for two consecutive seasons in both Scotland andNorfolk. These two seasons were very different with regards to establishment and disease pressure however despite this a rate of 350 seeds/m would still appear to be correct.
Although we saw a slight increase in yield in the2015 data sets, especially for the newer varieties with an increased seed rate,in general over two years the 350 seeds/m rate would appear to be the most cost-effective.
However he points out that seed rates for spring barley, as for many cereal crops is not an exact science and will need adjusting depending on drilling date, tillering capacity, soil conditions,weather forecast, pest activity and most importantly growers knowledge from previous experience.
Specific weight however would not appear to be greatly influenced by differing seed rates, but in general the standard 350seeds/m in the 2014 and 2015 season, produced the best specific weight for the majority of the varieties in the trial.
In general the drive for higher yield has driven varieties towards a later maturity and it is also quite evident that these varieties would also appear to have lower specific weight recordings as compared with past older varieties but Sienna bucks the trend -and has the best specific weight on the AHDB Recommended List.
Its necessary to keep testing these new high yielding lines to ensure that historic agronomic inputs are still relevant into days climate, especially when we know that many of the new spring barley varieties have significantly increased yield potential over the last six years.