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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGICALLY-SOUND PEST, WATER AND SOIL MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS CROPPING SYSTEMS Title: Dryland malt barley yield and quality affected by tillage, cropping sequence, and nitrogen fertilization

Authors
item Sainju, Upendra
item Lenssen, Andrew
item Barsotti, Joy

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 2, 2012
Publication Date: January 12, 2013
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/56104
Citation: Sainju, U.M., Lenssen, A.W., Barsotti, J.L. 2013. Dryland malt barley and pea yields and quality affected by tillage, cropping sequence, and nitrogen fertilization. Agronomy Journal. 105(2):329-340.

Interpretive Summary: Although malt barley grain yield can be increased with increased nitrogen fertilization rates, restriction on grain protein concentration (<135 g kg-1) and kernel plumpness (>800 g kg-1) for malting grade possess unique challenges for producers. Malt barley that is unacceptable for malting purpose is used mostly for animal feed, thereby resulting in lower revenue for producers. Little is known about the effects of management practices, such as tillage, cropping sequence, and N fertilization on dryland malt barley and pea yields and quality in the northern Great Plains. The effects of tillage and cropping sequence combination and N fertilization were evaluated on dryland malt barley and pea yields, grain characteristics, N uptake, and N use-efficiency from 2006 to 2011 in eastern Montana. Treatments were no-tilled continuous malt barley (NTCB), no-tilled malt barley-pea (NTB-P), no-tilled malt barley-fallow (NTB-F), and conventional-tilled malt barley-fallow (CTB-F), each with 0, 40, 80, and 120 kg N ha-1. As N rates increased, malt barley grain yield, protein concentration, and N uptake increased in NTB-F, NTB-P, and NTCB, but test weight, plumpness, and N-use efficiency decreased in all tillage and cropping sequence combinations. Similarly, plant stand, biomass (stems and leaves) yield, and N uptake increased with increased N rates. Grain and biomass yields, N uptake, and N-use efficiency were greater in CTB-F than in NTB-P and NTCB but tillage had no effect on these parameters. Malt barley and pea yields and N uptake varied with cropping sequences and N rates among years. Although grain yield increased with increased N rates, NTB-P with N rates between 40 to 80 kg N ha-1 may be used to sustain dryland malt barley yield and quality (protein concentration <135 g kg-1, plumpness >800 g kg-1) in the northern Great Plains. This management option also helps to decrease the potentials for soil erosion and N leaching and increase organic matter due to greater surface residue accumulation, reduced soil disturbance, and lower N fertilization rate.

Technical Abstract: Information is needed on the effects of management practices on dryland malt barley (Hordeum vulgaris L.) and pea (Pisum sativum L.) yields and quality. We evaluated the effects of tillage and cropping sequence combination and N fertilization on dryland malt barley and pea yields, grain characteristics, N uptake, and N use-efficiency from 2006 to 2011 in eastern Montana. Treatments were no-tilled continuous malt barley (NTCB), no-tilled malt barley-pea (NTB-P), no-tilled malt barley-fallow (NTB-F), and conventional-tilled malt barley-fallow (CTB-F), each with 0, 40, 80, and 120 kg N ha-1. As N rates increased, malt barley grain yield, protein concentration, and N uptake increased in NTB-F, NTB-P, and NTCB, but test weight, plumpness, and N-use efficiency decreased in all tillage and cropping sequence combinations. Similarly, plant stand, biomass (stems and leaves) yield, and N uptake increased with increased N rates. Grain and biomass yields, N uptake, and N-use efficiency were greater in CTB-F than in NTB-P and NTCB but tillage had no effect on these parameters. Malt barley and pea yields and N uptake varied with cropping sequences and N rates among years. Although grain yield increased with increased N rates, NTB-P with N rates between 40 to 80 kg N ha-1 may be used to sustain dryland malt barley yield and quality (protein concentration <135 g kg-1, plumpness >800 g kg-1) in the northern Great Plains. This management option also helps to decrease the potentials for soil erosion and N leaching and increase organic matter due to greater surface residue accumulation, reduced soil disturbance, and lower N fertilization rate (GRACEnet Publication).

Last Modified: 12/29/2014
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