Documenting Nutrient Accumulation Rates in Four Barley Varieties


29 Apr 2016

2015 Annual Interpretive Summary

Data on nutrient uptake and partitioning in modern barley cultivars is limited. Research was initiated to investigate uptake and partitioning patterns in three classes of commercially produced barley (i.e., feed, food, and malt). Through selective breeding, barley has been bred for high yields and relatively high protein levels (animal feed), food barley (i.e., human consumption) has been bred to have high beta-glucan sugars, while malt barley has been bred for relatively low-protein concentrations conducive to the malting process. This study was designed to determine nutrient uptake and partitioning patterns at multiple growth stages throughout the growing season.

Fertilizer applications and plot management decisions were made based on University of Idaho recommendations to ensure optimal yield and quality for the intended purpose. Plant samples were collected at Feekes 4/5, late boot, heading, soft dough, and at harvest. The samples were separated into stem and heads where appropriate. Tissue N concentrations have been analyzed at this time, and additional samples have been processed and are ready to analyze for additional plant nutrients (Ca, P, Na, Mg, K, S, Mn Cu, Fe, and Zn). Statistical analyses are currently being conducted, where two-years of data is warranted for a replicated dataset.