3 November 1995

Gaelic winter kill warning

MILD autumn weather has prompted Gaelic winter barley breeder Elsoms to issue advice to growers concerned about winter kill.

To avoid excessive autumn growth and/or disease, which make crops vulnerable to winter losses, it recommends an autumn growth regulator and good mildew control.

By reducing the dominance of the main shoot the growth regulator makes tillers stronger and more frost resistant, as well as encouraging root growth. Autumn Cycocel also acts as an "internal anti-freeze" within the plant, it adds.

Such a policy has seen Velcourt achieve top barley yields with the variety over several years, Elsoms claims.

Another option is to lightly graze the crop before the ear at 1cm growth stage (GS30).