uMILDEW remains a serious threat to malting barley and can affect grain-fill, yield, and market acceptability even of resistant varieties not fungicide-protected, growers have been warned. "All varieties, even those classed as resistant to mildew, respond to infection with a sharp rise in respiration," warns Dow Agrosciences agronomist Stuart Jackson. "Precious energy reserves are deployed to fight the infection and diverted away from grain sites. This limits grain-fill resulting in poorer samples, not the plump well-filled grain maltsters are looking for."
uLATE nitrogen applied to winter barley intended for malting could limit tiller retention and produce bolder samples with slightly higher grain N contents, says Hydros Jim Lewis. He believes it is important to keep awns well fed and so does not favour a rigid end of March cut-off for N applications to the crop. "The main yield driver is the awn. It is responsible for 50-60% of grain fill, so it needs to be kept growing. No-one wants a lot of tillers." *