Idaho research suggests barley growers can reduce water usage without reducing yields

St. Paul Campus barley plots, late June, 2010. University of Minnesota, Agricultural Experiment Station research project #13-030, "Barley Breeding and Genetics." Principal investigator: Kevin Paul Smith.

Barley plots on the University of Minnesota campus // Photo by David Hansen, University of Minnesota

More news on the water conservation front: research at the University of Idaho Extension suggests that barely growers can judiciously cut their irrigation at certain phases of the crop’s growth without affecting their overall yield or quality.

This is the first year of barley agronomist Chris Rogers’ research with the popular MillerCoors barley variety Moravian 69. His tests seem to indicate that growers can stop watering barley once the grain reaches its “soft dough phase”, when it becomes mealy and the seed is devoid of liquid, provided that the soil mix has enough water retention.

Many barley farmers water their crop well into and past this growing phrase, so Rogers’ data may prove significant for barley farming in the near future.

Read more: [H/t Capital Press]


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