The standard seed rate of 350 seeds/m² appears to be the ideal seed rate for many of the spring barley varieties when good seedbeds and growing conditions are conducive to quick plant emergence, states Ron Granger, Limagrain UK’s arable technical manager.
This season is no different, as growers should be patient and delay drilling, until good seed beds with warming soil temperatures ensure quick plant establishment – spring growing crops do not like growth checks.
“We have carried out trials, looking at variety interaction with seed rate for two consecutive seasons in both Scotland and Norfolk. These two seasons were very different with regards to establishment and disease pressure –however despite this a rate of 350 seeds/m² would still appear to be correct.”
“Although we saw a slight increase in yield in the 2015 data sets, especially for the newer varieties with an increased seed rate, in general over two years the 350 seeds/m² rate would appear to be the most cost-effective.”
However he points out that seed rates for spring barley, as for many cereal crops is not an exact science and will need adjusting depending on drilling date, tillering capacity, soil conditions, weather forecast, pest activity and most importantly growers knowledge from previous experience.