Cereal lodging a hot topic at Scotcrop
LODGING of cereals was a big talking point among the 2000 visitors to Scotcrop in East Lothian last week, where more than 1000 trial plots were on show.
Many of the plots were lodged prompting the Scottish Agricultural Colleges variety expert, David Cranstoun, to caution against making swift conclusions in an exceptional year.
"On the face of it, Melanie has lodged and Regina is still standing," he said of Scotlands two most popular new winter barleys. "They have the same rating for straw strength and I think the Melanie ears were fuller and heavier when the recent rains arrived and that is why it lodged. Regina is that bit later and there would be less weight in the heads."
Despite being slightly later than Melanie, he is confident Regina will become increasingly popular. "It is the highest yielding two-row variety, it is winter hardy, stands well, and has a micro malting spirit yield as high as Halycon."
Plots also showed the importance of choosing the right seed rate. Both Melanie and Regina have large grain size, with 1000-seed weights more than 20% higher than Halcyon.
Sowing by seed number to cut seed rate must allow for crop establishment, development before winter and winter hardiness, the SAC warned.
lLandlord was the spring barley attracting most attention at Scotcrop. Bred by New Farm Crops, and provisionally recommended and graded good for malting by the SAC, it is approved for malting by the IOB in Scotland. But its big attraction is resistance to mildew, rhynchosporium, and brown rust. College trials also showed it was resistant to splitting last year.