Arable News

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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Watch out for weak winter barley stems

 Syngenta’s Iain Hamilton Backward winter barley crops could be at increased risk of stem lodging this season, says Syngenta field technical manager, Iain Hamilton, as they try to catch up in growth stage resulting in stems growing thinner and weak.

Many winter barley crops this season were already backward because of late drilling last autumn, says Mr Hamilton.
But the cold start to the year has compounded this.


Once spring growth starts, plants will almost certainly try to catch up. So we could see a massive upward growth spurt over a very short timescale leaving crops with thin and weak stems that are much more prone to bending or breakage, he adds.


In response Mr Hamilton suggests growers should consider using a plant growth regulator tank mix of Moddus plus chlormequat applied at growth stage 31 to 32 aimed at increasing lower stem strength for lodging control.


Of course the same lodging risks could also happen in wheat. But the main cause of lodging in barley is already stem lodging to begin with.


We suggest Moddus because in both wheat and barley it has been shown to not only reduce crop height but also increase stem wall thickness. Later on, an ethephon-based PGR may also need to be considered around growth stage 37 to further shorten crop height, according to risk, Mr Hamilton says.


  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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