Barley growth guide

The aim of this guide is to enable barley growers to identify where production may be falling short of potential.

Central to the AHDB Barley growth guide is a common set of UK crop benchmarks. Each benchmark is a reference point against which a crop’s performance can be compared.

The benchmarks are based on observations of two-row winter barley variety grown for feed, across several seasons at UK sites.

The first edition of the guide was published in 2006. This edition was published in 2018.

During the revision, each benchmark was checked for accuracy and updated where necessary.

The guide now includes information on how much each benchmark is affected by crop genetics – using an index of low, medium and high – and husbandry.

This information is critical because variety choice is key where benchmarks are strongly affected by genetics. Where genetics are not so critical, husbandry choices become more important.

Other key changes in the updated guide include:

An infographic to show how barley grows and forms yield

Key management actions calendar

Improved information on spring barley

New section on root growth

At-a-glance information on benchmarks during key growth phases and stages

Clear information on ways to measure key benchmarks

Improved information on grain quality

The update was part of an ADAS-led project to review growth guides for both wheat and barley.