Management of sowing rates and PGR’s on Barley Varieties
Plant Growth Regulators (PGR) are a great management tool for producers in the region to help maximise their yields. PGR’s are a focal point of this year’s Variety by Management trials run by SFS. The variety by management trials at SFS look at new varieties and how they perform under relevant management practices.
This years Barley trial is aiming to better understand the interaction between PGR benefits and differing sowing rates as they create a denser canopy.
The trial has three treatment factors:
The barley varieties in this year’s trial include RGT Planet (RAGT), Neo (Intergrain), and Minotaur (AGT).
Varieties will be compared with and without PGR’s and assessed on how the treatment impacts things such as lodging, head loss and yield. PGR’s provide benefit by shortening and strengthening the stem and therefore reducing the risk of lodging and head loss. An important thing to remember at this time of the season is that the best tool to reduce head loss in Barley is a timely harvest, however PGR’s can be beneficial when a timely harvest cannot be achieved.
Two different sowing rates were used with a standard sowing rate treatment (180pl/m2) and a higher sowing rate treatment (240 pl/m2).The aim is to look at how increasing the canopy density will impact the crop and whether the PGR can reduce the negative effects of a higher density canopy. An increased canopy density is likely to reduce air flow, creating higher disease pressure, decrease light penetration and increase competition for resources.
As we get closer to harvest, final assessments of the trial will be conducted, and we look forward to seeing some interesting results come out of the trial.
By James Palmer, SFS Graduate Research & Extension