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Thread: Spring barley N advice

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    Spring barley N advice

    Hello All, after 20 odd years of growing crops organicaly,this year I'm going to go conventional.I've done a soil test and I can take a P&K "holiday".I only need to top dress 120-130 units of N.What product should I use? Was thinking of something like Nitram 34.5%,or should I use a product containing Sulpher?
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    TIA.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by timhaven View Post
    Hello All, after 20 odd years of growing crops organicaly,this year I'm going to go conventional.I've done a soil test and I can take a P&K "holiday".I only need to top dress 120-130 units of N.What product should I use? Was thinking of something like Nitram 34.5%,or should I use a product containing Sulpher?
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    TIA.
    In your situation where the fertility is sky high 120-130 units will be ample. If you are on medium to heavy land I would suggest putting half the N on immediately after drilling and the remainder on as soon as you can see the tramlines. On light ground or that where it might dry out, put the lot on behind the drill.

    Given that you are organic, I would expect a very high broad leaved weed burden.

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    Senior Member Wee Dram's Avatar
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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Our Spring Barley responds very well to Sulphur if we don't get it on with the fert we put it on with the sprays. It is nearly always cheaper to buy it in with the fert and helps keep the sprayer driver happier.
    130 units seems a massive amount of N to me especially if you are likely to have high residual n in the soil but then we are growing it for malting

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    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Wee Dram View Post
    130 units seems a massive amount of N to me especially if you are likely to have high residual n in the soil but then we are growing it for malting
    Same here, ours gets half that - in a 20-10-10 blend though.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by 4wd View Post
    Same here, ours gets half that - in a 20-10-10 blend though.
    That's what my local fert. rep. told me,(120-130 units/acre but he would say that wouldn't he
    That's why I'm looking for independant advice

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by timhaven View Post
    That's what my local fert. rep. told me,(120-130 units/acre but he would say that wouldn't he
    That's why I'm looking for independant advice
    I had some spring barley last year which had 90 units and it still looked for some more. I have seen spring barley grown with 150kg/ha of N but you will need two goes with PGR for sure. I sure as hell would not try such a stunt with one of the taller varieties either.

    The only reason I used 90 last year was because farmer moaned 70 was never enough, but it was land that was new to me and in fairness I saw the results and accepted I would have been too low at 70. Mind this was going for feed not malting.

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    Senior Member Hazza97's Avatar
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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    What made you decide to move out of organics if you don't mind me asking

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazza97 View Post
    What made you decide to move out of organics if you don't mind me asking
    Well,
    As fertilizer prices rise,I'v had trouble sourcing FYM as farmers are keeping it to use themselves.
    As Uwork4menow says,weeds(mainly docks) are becoming a problem.
    Yields in 2012 only 1.5 ton/acre due to weather(same for everyone I know).
    Yields in 2013 only 1.25 ton/acre(wheat) due to crap seed(660/ton)
    Prices this year a disgrace(220-230/ton)
    Straw yield 3 bales/acre,difficult to sell as full of weeds(non organic neighbours get 7-10 bales acre @ 17/bale).
    Soil Association losing the plot IMO.
    Basically,I don't think organic farming is viable any more.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Thank you everyone for the advice given above,I'm basically learning to farm all over again

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    Senior Member Wee Dram's Avatar
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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Have a wee play here but at the end of the day it is only a recommendation.

    http://www.fertiliser-recommendations.co.uk/barley.php

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Wee Dram View Post
    Have a wee play here but at the end of the day it is only a recommendation.

    http://www.fertiliser-recommendations.co.uk/barley.php
    Hmmm,comes out at 160kg/ha,I'll spend a few hours converting to units/acre

    With high rainfall,shallow soils etc. rightly or wrongly I'm going to stick with 120 units/acre.I'll let you know what happens.If it goes flat I've only got myself to blame!
    Last edited by timhaven; 26-02-14 at 04:11 PM. Reason: thinking

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    Senior Member Wee Dram's Avatar
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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    if I remember right to convert units/ac to kg/ha you multiply by 1.25 so 160kg/ha is 128 units/ac if I have got that wrong I am sure some one will be along to correct me.
    Still seems an awful lot of fert to me
    Cheers

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    It's 1.25 and 0.8 back, as an acre is so much smaller than a hectare.

    Unless you are on top of things agronomically you could have a good cock up, it would be safer to come back to say 70-90 units for the barley, you can use more where you are growing for feed but you will need to be using PGRs at exactly the right times to keep it stood up. The crop will indicate to you what it wants you can always apply a little more but you can't take it away.

    Just don't try to drill spring barley into cold wet land. It doesn't like it much.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by timhaven View Post
    Hmmm,comes out at 160kg/ha,I'll spend a few hours converting to units/acre

    With high rainfall,shallow soils etc. rightly or wrongly I'm going to stick with 120 units/acre.I'll let you know what happens.If it goes flat I've only got myself to blame!
    120 is too much!

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Flat 10 View Post
    120 is too much!
    Alright,calm down,I'll reduce it,apart from anything else,I don't want another sleepless night
    Thank you again for all your advice.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    timhaven, i got out of organic in 2011. after 15 yrs.
    glad to be out.
    too many weeds, crap prices and a**hole inspectors

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by timhaven View Post
    Hello All, after 20 odd years of growing crops organicaly,this year I'm going to go conventional.I've done a soil test and I can take a P&K "holiday".I only need to top dress 120-130 units of N.What product should I use? Was thinking of something like Nitram 34.5%,or should I use a product containing Sulpher?
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    TIA.
    out of interest what was the soil test results?

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by davidroberts30 View Post
    out of interest what was the soil test results?
    pH 6.3
    Phosphorus- index 4.8(too high)
    potassium - index 3.2
    mag. - index 3

    After 20 years of organic I and everybody else is amazed at these results.Oddly this did not translate into high crop yields.Despite using a lot of poultry manure,lack of N was to blame?

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by danseyspass View Post
    timhaven, i got out of organic in 2011. after 15 yrs.
    glad to be out.
    too many weeds, crap prices and a**hole inspectors
    To be fair I'm sad to be giving up organics,but you have to make money.Mind you grass is always greener etc.I may come to regret this when the bills for fertilizer/chemicals turn up
    As for inspections,some would take 1 hour,other inspecters would take 6.You knew it would go badly when they asked for warm milk instead of tea/coffee

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    I was sad to give it up, but i couldnt look at the thistles any more. none of my neighbours controlled their thistles on beetle banks etc, so i had no chance.
    my soil was aldso high fertility.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by danseyspass View Post
    I was sad to give it up, but i couldnt look at the thistles any more. none of my neighbours controlled their thistles on beetle banks etc, so i had no chance.
    my soil was aldso high fertility.
    I wish my organic client had results like those!! Rather than the reverse. Absolutely impossible to bring indices up and I agree the SA are completely unreasonable. They just don't have a grasp of the whole job in my opinion. They are just totally happy to see farms ran into the ground and people virtually bankrupt until they are forced to basically give up being organic.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Yes my main gripe with the SA was they didn't give a monkeys whether farmers made any money.
    When I first did organic potatos you could use conventional seed,so at least the crop got off to a good start,then you had to use organic seed which was 3 times the price and of dubious quality.
    When I started free range eggs,you could use conventional pullets ,but that didn't last long,my first organically reared ones that turned up looked like pigeons,spent 3 months trying to get them to correct weight.
    And the less said about last years wheat seed the better.
    Always seemed to be trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by timhaven View Post
    pH 6.3
    Phosphorus- index 4.8(too high)
    potassium - index 3.2
    mag. - index 3

    After 20 years of organic I and everybody else is amazed at these results.Oddly this did not translate into high crop yields.Despite using a lot of poultry manure,lack of N was to blame?
    Why is everyone amazed?
    20 years of P and K applied in the form of poultry manure with only 1.5t grain and 3 bales straw to the acre removed sound like a good recipe for increasing PK levels to me.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Archie View Post
    Why is everyone amazed?
    20 years of P and K applied in the form of poultry manure with only 1.5t grain and 3 bales straw to the acre removed sound like a good recipe for increasing PK levels to me.
    Not surprised if chicken muck has been used.

    Have a client who uses chicken muck a lot, 3t/acre applied in autumn, behind a years old ley, used only 50 units N last year on the wheat and still had the best looking crop for miles around.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Interesting that organic farming systems rely on chicken shit from conventional farming systems to build fertility.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Interesting that organic farming systems rely on chicken shit from conventional farming systems to build fertility.
    Did anybody say that the chicken sh*te didn't come from organic, free range chucks?

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilO View Post
    Did anybody say that the chicken sh*te didn't come from organic, free range chucks?
    Organic hen shit will be about as scarce as their teeth, will it not?

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MC130 View Post
    Organic hen shit will be about as scarce as their teeth, will it not?
    It came from my own flock of 4000 organic birds.

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    Re: Spring barley N advice

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Interesting that organic farming systems rely on chicken shit from conventional farming systems to build fertility.
    My arguement about using imported chickn muck was i was merely returning to the soil the nutrients mined out by the previous short lease tenant.
    Then i got my own organic chooks to supply it.
    My arguement with certifiers was that org farming had to be sustainable for the FARMER. They didnt get it and still dont.
    I was getting good yields after 15 years trial and error, but the thistles, the landlord and certifier beat me.
    Any wheat seed sown without treatment in 2012 would have failed due to fusarium.

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