CROPS WATCH: Spring barley needs help early to reach potential

In this installment of CROPS WATCH, Kevin Nolan of Nolan farming is planting his last crop of spring barley of the season.

In addition, TerraChem agronomist John Mulhare is out in a more advanced crop, which will receive an aphicide and herbicide application this week; it will also receive trace elements.

The crop is at the two tiller stage – the ideal time for aphicide and herbicide application.

Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is a threat to late-sown barley and John explained that the financial risk that BYDV can impose is too high to leave an aphicide out of a spring barley spray programme. He suggested Lambda or Karate at 50ml/ha for aphid control.

Weed control

Weeds were emerging when AgriLand visited this crop of barley and among them was fumitory. As a result, John chose Cameo Max as the suphonyl urea product in the mix. Galaxy or Starane will cover any farmer with resistant chickweed.

The field John was in didn’t require a wild oat spray, but this could have been applied at the same time because John chose to go with a fluroxypr-based product in Galaxy.

Prescription for this crop of spring barley:
  • Lambda/Karate – 50ml/ha;
  • Cameo Max – 45g/ha;
  • Galaxy/Starane – 0.75L/ha;
  • K2 – 1.25L/ha or CeCeCe – 1.5L/ha;
  • Cereals Aloy – 0.5L/ha;
  • Uplift – 3L/ha.

Tank mixes should always be tested. Check out John’s guide to checking a tank mix below.

Also Read: CROPS WATCH: How to avoid ‘making gravy’ in a spray tank mix

Growth regulator

John suggested applying K2 or CeCeCe to this crop to help it to plant out and promote tillering.


Foliar nutrition is important to combat trace element deficiencies and these products work best when applied early in the season.

Cereals Aloy will supply the crop with magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc. This should be applied to the crop twice, at 0.5L/ha both times.

Crops are also under stress due to the harsh season and Uplift at 3L/ha will help the plant. Uplift provides a range of major and minor nutrients to the crop as a foliar feed to the plant.