Elona and Spring Barley Crops 2021
What a difference a year makes, by this time last year the T1 fungicide on Spring Barley crops would have already been applied [10 to 14 days prior] in many cases and the debate was being had over whether to cut back on T2 fungicide spend or leave them out completely due to the dry conditions! Plus many crops (esp. those sown into poor seed beds) were suffering in the heat and subsequent dry soils. Fast forward to late May 2021 and many have yet to have their T1 fungicides because cooler conditions early on meant slow growth rates and the more recent rainfall in May (although very welcome!) has now delayed application further.
Due to the more recent rainfall and warmer conditions [although temperatures are still below average] we are seeing a rapid surge in growth as crops take up applied nitrogen (generally as NO3). Whilst this is not unwelcome in a crop where rapid spring growth is required to build canopies with which crops can maximise light capture for photosynthesis which in turn builds further biomass which can be redistributed to grains later, we don’t at the same time want to be favouring excessive leafy growth over tiller survival, root growth and stem strength which are all required to support high yields later on.
Spring Barley grain yield is more strongly related to grain number than grain size, therefore management decisions to maximise tiller production and survival through to ear production are important. Whilst in building the platform to support higher ear numbers you will require a root system to anchor and supply nutrients/moisture to avoid stress later on (important when trying to avoid stress related diseases such as Ramularia) and also stem strength to help avoid brackling.
The use of ‘Elona’, Levity’s foliar nutrition product containing the proprietary Stabilised Amine Nitrogen (SAN) Technology ‘LimiN’ alongside the common crop nutrients found to be deficient in cereals crops (Manganese, Copper, Zinc and Magnesium) can help to manage crop growth in favour of the plant parts (tillers/roots) which will support higher yields later on. Whilst at the same time research has shown the use of Elona on cereal crops can improve tiller base diameter which may aid lodging resistance (Marks et al, 2020).
Therefore, consider the use of Elona at 1.5-3l/ha alongside crop applied fungicides on Spring Barley to help plants put growth in the right place whilst also supplying those essential nutrients traditionally found to be limiting in UK crops to maximise yields later on.