Winter Barley

Variety Star Seed
Planting Rate 60 to 90 LBS per Acre
Plant Height 2-4 FT
Seed Count 15,000 Seeds per LB
Botanical Name Hordeum vulgare
Life Cycle Annual
Environment Full Sun
Grazing Value Good


Barley is a cereal more tolerant of high pH soils than other cereals, including both calcareous and salty or saline-sodic soils. Yields are similar to oats at neutral pH soils, with oats being superior on acid soils and barley being superior in higher pH soils. On soils with iron chlorosis issues on soybeans, barley can be used as a cover crop prior to soybeans to alleviate iron chlorosis probelms. Optimum pure stand seeding rates range from 60 lbs per acre for cover purposes, to 90 lbs per acre for forage, with a 1 inch planting depth recommended. Spring peas are an excellent companion in the spring, and brassicas such as radishes are a good companion in the fall in addition to peas.

A fall planting option for spring forage production, winter barley is not as winterhardy as triticale or wheat. Growth is generally faster in fall and winter, however. Barley is generally more competitive and tillers better than oats, so uses are not always the same. Oats are a better nurse crop and tolerate acid soils, and barley can be a better forage producer on sandy, saline, alkaline, or droughty soils.

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