Documenting Nutrient Accumulation Rates in Four Barley Varieties


02 Jun 2018

2017 Annual Interpretive Summary

This project was designed to determine the "Right Time" aspect of nutrient accumulation of four distinct barley varieties (for animal feed, malting, human food, and adjunct). A study conducted in Idaho investigated the cultivar effects on barley grain yield, quality, nutrient concentrations, removal, and nutrient accumulation patterns under irrigated conditions for two-row barley cultivars.

Adjunct and feed barley cultivars produced the highest yields compared with the all-malt and food cultivars. Dry matter accumulation patterns were similar among cultivars, with maximum total nutrient uptake occurring between the soft dough stage and maturity. Protein, β-glucan, test weight, phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) concentrations were greater or equal in the food cultivar compared with the malt or feed cultivars. Variations in plant and grain nutrient concentrations were measured among the adjunct and all-malt cultivars, which could potentially affect the malting and brewing qualities. Total nutrient accumulation was greatest at either the soft dough stage or at maturity, where specific nutrients were greater at one stage compared to the other. Particular nutrients (e.g., K, Mg, and S) were largely accumulated in the plant (i.e., the stem plus leaves) compared to the grain spike. For other nutrients (e.g., P and micronutrient metals), they were were translocated from the plant into the spike during the period between the soft dough growth stage and maturity. Results from these studies provide critical data for two-row barley under high-yielding conditions that can be used to improve future nutrient management decisions and can be used to more accurately predict nutrient cycling in barley cropping systems.