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ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Agricultural Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313542

Research Project: Development of Ecologically-Sound Pest, Water and Soil Management Practices for Northern Great Plains Cropping Systems

Location: Agricultural Systems Research

Title: Malt barley yield and quality affected by irrigation, tillage, crop rotation, and nitrogen fertilization

Author
item Stevens, William - Bart
item Sainju, Upendra
item Caesar, Thecan
item Iversen, William - Bill

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2015
Publication Date: 8/21/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/61564
Citation: Stevens, W.B., Sainju, U.M., Caesar, T., Iversen, W.M. 2015. Malt barley yield and quality affected by irrigation, tillage, crop rotation, and nitrogen fertilization. Agronomy Journal. 107(6):2107-2119. doi:10.2134/agronj15.0027

Interpretive Summary: Malt barley is an important cash crop usually rotated with sugarbeet to reduce incidences of weeds, diseases, and pests in irrigated cropping systems in the northern Great Plains. Malt barley is also widely grown in dryland cropping systems in this semiarid region where the growing season is relatively short due to cool climate with lower precipitation than in other regions. Little is known about the comparison of management practices on malt barley yield and quality in irrigated and non-irrigated cropping systems. We evaluated the effects of irrigation, tillage, cropping system, and N fertilization on malt barley yield and quality in a sandy loam soil from 2005 to 2011 in croplands converted from Conservation Reserve Program in western North Dakota. Treatments were two irrigation practices (irrigated vs. non-irrigated) as the main plot and five cropping systems (conventional till malt barley with N fertilizer [CTBN], conventional till malt barley without N fertilizer [CTBO], no-till malt barley-pea with N fertilizer [NTB-P], no-till malt barley with N fertilizer [NTBN], and no-till malt barley without N fertilizer [NTBO]) as the split plot treatment arranged in a randomized block design with three replications. Malt barley biomass and grain yields were greater with NTB-P than CTBO, NTBN, and NTBO in the irrigated practice and greater with NTB-P and NTB-N than NTBO and CTBO in the non-irrigated practice. Compared with CTBO and NTBO, grain protein concentration was greater with CTBN in the irrigated practice and greater with NTB-P in the non-irrigated practice. Compared with NTB-P, grain plumpness was greater with CTBO in the irrigated practice and CTBN in the non-irrigated practice. Plant stand, biomass yield, grain plumpness and test weight were greater, but protein concentration was lower with irrigation than without. Malt barley yield and quality can be sustained by using NTB-P compared with the traditional CTBN, regardless of irrigation practices. This management practice can also help to improve soil and environmental quality.

Technical Abstract: Little is known about the comparison of management practices on malt barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) yield and quality in irrigated and non-irrigated cropping systems. We evaluated the effects of irrigation, tillage, cropping system, and N fertilization on malt barley yield and quality in a sandy loam soil from 2005 to 2011 in croplands converted from Conservation Reserve Program in western North Dakota. Treatments were two irrigation practices (irrigated vs. non-irrigated) as the main plot and five cropping systems (conventional till malt barley with N fertilizer [CTBN], conventional till malt barley without N fertilizer [CTBO], no-till malt barley-pea [Pisum sativum L.] with N fertilizer [NTB-P], no-till malt barley with N fertilizer [NTBN], and no-till malt barley without N fertilizer [NTBO]) as the split plot treatment arranged in a randomized block design with three replications. Malt barley biomass and grain yields were greater with NTB-P than CTBO, NTBN, and NTBO in the irrigated practice and greater with NTB-P and NTB-N than NTBO and CTBO in the non-irrigated practice. Compared with CTBO and NTBO, grain protein concentration was greater with CTBN in the irrigated practice and greater with NTB-P in the non-irrigated practice. Compared with NTB-P, grain plumpness was greater with CTBO in the irrigated practice and CTBN in the non-irrigated practice. Plant stand, biomass yield, grain plumpness and test weight were greater, but protein concentration was lower with irrigation than without. Malt barley yield and quality can be sustained by using NTB-P compared with the traditional CTBN, regardless of irrigation practices.