9 August 2002

Trial results reveal slump in barley yields

FIVE new trial results have sent the winter barley average yield tumbling from 9.02t/ha to 7.65t/ha (3.6 to 3.1t/acre) across the Recommended List sites cleared so far, reports NIABs Richard Fenwick.

"We have seen several results of below 6t/ha. It seems as though crop growth was affected by the April drought."

Performance is very variable across the 10 sites taken as of Tuesday, ranging from an 11.1t/ha average at Croft in N Yorks to 5.2t/ha from Winchester in Hants, he notes.

"On the whole, N contents are high, and there have been some low specific weights."

Six-row Siberia has given the best yield results, leading the pack with an average 110% of control variety yields, closely followed by Sequel at 109. Pict has slipped a couple of points to 106 from its 108 mean in the previous four years work, while Muscat has pulled its socks up from 102 to a mean 107% this season.

"Of the two-rows new candidate Swallow is leading at 103, with Carat not far behind at 102," says Mr Fenwick.

Pearl, Scylla, Sumo and Opal have all yielded 100%, while Diamond has taken a dive to date, delivering a disappointing 93% of controls compared to a previous four year mean performance of 97%. &#42