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and a smaller amount during the growing season than any other cereal. Although an important crop in Norway and Sweden, it was formerly the bread plant of the people bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. It is said to grow in the extreme North, where the soil melts only a few inches deep. It seems, however, to be best adapted to a warm, dry climate, although an abundance of rain does not prevent its successful culture. It requires less water in the Western States for irrigation than wheat or oats, and can be successfully grown more seasons in the semiarid region without irrigation than oats or spring wheat.
The average maturing period is less than for oats or spring wheat. At the Wisconsin Station during five years it has varied with different varieties from seventy-eight to eighty-eight days, the average being eighty-four days; at North Dakota Station the season has varied from eighty-two to ninety-four days. (386)
453. Soil. Whether the peculiar distribution of barley in the United States is in any way dependent upon soil has not been ascertained. The development and distribution of the culture of a crop are due to so many causes, natural and economic, as to make it difficult to trace soil influences. The indications are, however, that the nature of the soil makes more difference with barley than with other cereal crops. English experience would indicate that rather sandy and well drained soils are better than clay soils or soils not well drained. Barley needs a fertile soil, and does not appear to stand growing continuously on the same land as well as other cereals. The rate of decline of barley at Rothamsted during forty years of continuous culture without fertilizers was considerably greater than in the case of wheat.
454. Rotation.—Perhaps no cereal crop requires more care bestowed upon the rotation than does barley. Where barley replaces the wheat crop, the rotation may be maize, barley and
oats, each one year; or timothy and clover one or more years. The land has thus had surface tillage the previous year and may have been manured. In some regions barley replaces oats, when the rotation becomes maize, barley and wheat, each one year, followed with clover or clover and timothy one or two years. It is a matter of observation that the yield of winter wheat following barley is better than that following oats, especially in regions where water is readily exhausted from the soil. This is doubtless due to the greater water requirement of oats as compared with barley, which makes it more difficult to prepare a suitable seed bed, and causes the wheat subsequently sown to germinate and grow more slowly.
It is thought that the extensive experiments of Lawes and Gilbert indicate that the quality of barley is injured by following root crops, and is best in England when following wheat. All the various cultural conditions combined, however, have less influence on both quantity and quality of produce than has the weather.
455. Manuring.–As the straw is comparatively short, barley will stand liberal manuring without lodging. Where lodging occurs, the filling of the grains is less interrupted than in the case of oats. Stable manure or commercial fertilizers may be applied directly to land intended for barley in quantities suggested for wheat. (122, 123, 124) Generally, however, it is better farm practice to apply the manure to the previous maize crop, and, if further fertilizing is required, apply commercial fertilizers for the barley. That barley responds as well as other cereal crops to the use of various forms of fertilizers is shown by the following table, giving the average yields of barley, wheat and oats during sixteen years on the same land at the Central Experimental Farms, fertilizers having been applied continuously during the first eleven years: 2
1 Jour. Roy. Agr. Soc. England, 3 Ser. 11 (1900), pt. 2, pp. 185-251, pls. 11. 2 Can. Expt. Farms Rpt. 1903, p. 24 et seq.
Yield of Grain per Acre in Bushels-Average Sixteen Years.
Salt and gypsum both appear to have increased the yield of barley, but to have had less influence on the oats and wheat. Barley appears more dependent on the manurial supplies within the surface soil, probably on account of its shorter period of growth and more limited range of roots. For the same reason, soluble fertilizers, where needed, appear the most effective.
1 Phosphorus applied in untreated phosphates.
I. CULTURAL METHODS.
456. Preparation of Seed Bed.—A well prepared seed bed is desirable if not essential for barley. To this end the land should be plowed and the seed bed deeply and thoroughly pulverized. Fall plowing is preferable in order to secure early preparation of seed bed and early seeding. The same principles apply to depth of seeding as in wheat, oats and maize. The Minnesota Station obtained higher yields from sowing three-fourths inch deep than from deeper seeding, and one and one-half inches than either deeper or shallower seeding in another instance.? At the Manitoba Station better results were obtained at two inches than at shallower or deeper seeding. Much barley is sown broadcast, although the Ontario Agricultural College has found best results from drilling. For malting purposes it is desirable that every plant be grown and matured under as uniform conditions as possible. Doubtless drilling will promote this end. In some instances increased yields of grain have been obtained by mixing barley with other grains, such as oats. (404) In no case should two and six-rowed varieties of barley be mixed if their crop is to be used for malting, because of different lengths of time required for germination. Barley may be mixed with field peas in place of oats for sowing after July first, because the former is better adapted to growing during the warm weather. Early seeding of barley with field peas is less
1 Minn. Buls. 31 and 40.
desirable than oats with field peas on account of the weakness of the straw.
457. Rate of Seeding.–Wide variations in rate of seeding, ranging from one and one-half to four bushels of seed per acre, have given the best results in different trials. Two bushels is the usual quantity of seed sown per acre. It seems probable, however, that seeding at the rate of ten pecks per acre will give the best average results. The number of seeds per bushel is usually rather less than in wheat and oats. Barley tillers less strongly than oats, and also less strongly at least than winter wheat. Seeding thinly enough to induce excessive tillering may cause irregular and later ripening.
458. Time of Sowing.—The Central Experimental Farm, at which the conditions correspond to those of Ontario and Quebec, sowed two varieties of barley at six weekly periods for ten years, beginning each year as early as the land was fit to receive the seed. Seeding either the first or second week gave the best results. The decrease in yield after the second week was marked. In these provinces seeding usually should be finished before May first. The Ontario Agricultural College obtained best results every year during four years between April 22 and 25. Early sowing was not found so important for the Maritime Provinces, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories or British Columbia. The seeding should be finished in these provinces generally between May 15 and 25.1
The barley plant when young is rather more susceptible to cold than wheat and possibly than oats. A light frost just after it is up is likely to injure it. In the spring wheat regions barley is generally sown after wheat is sown, and before oats are sown, although in some sections barley is sown after oats. It is probable that oats would suffer more than barley from a few days' delay in seeding. At the Minnesota Station the difference in
Can. Cent. Expt. Farms Bul. 21; Can. Expt. Farms Rpt. 1899; Ont. Agr. Col. and Expt. Farms Rpt. 1898.