Spring Barley

Growing the crop & wildlife conservation

We sow in January or February

We apply nitrogen, potassium, phosphate, sulphur and manganese fertiliser in the spring

Weed control:
One herbicide in the spring

Insect pest & control:
There are no significant insect pests of spring barley

Disease control:
A seed dressing and usually two fungicides during the spring

Threats to the crop:

  • Our sandy soils do not hold water well, so drought is a major threat
  • Grazing by rabbits can be a problem
  • High rainfall or severe hail storms at or near harvest are threats, though rarely have a significant impact

What helps:

  • A warm spring helps the crop get established
  • Spring and summer rainfall increase crop yield

Wildlife conservation:

Harvest & what the crop is used for

Harvested with a combine, usually during August

Caring for the crop:
After combining, it goes into our grain store where it is dried and cooled. This prevents the build up of fungi and insects in the stored grain

What it is used for:
Good quality barley is used to produce malt for the brewing industry. Lower quality barley is used as livestock feed

There is some straw, though on our soils spring barley often produces too little straw to be worth baling

Spring Barley Field
Spring Barley field