Results are in for the 2019 Michigan spring malting barley trial

A spring malting barley variety trial was carried out across three Michigan locations as part of the Eastern Spring Barley Nursery project.

Malting barley field
2019 malting barley trial approaching maturity in Posen, Michigan. Photo by Christian Tollini, MSU Extension.

For a fourth year, Michigan State University Extension continued malting barley variety research as part of the Eastern Spring Barley Nursery project. Eastern Spring Barley Nursery research is sponsored by the Brewers Association and administered through North Dakota State University (NDSU) to research current malting barley variety adaptability and performance in Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic seaboard environments. This knowledge is greatly needed, as maltsters and brewers in these areas are interested in sourcing local barley grain for malt production. There is great potential in Michigan for continued growth of the malting barley industry due to the vast number of malt houses and breweries located within the state, as well as a favorable climate for growing small grains.

The 2019 Michigan Eastern Spring Barley Nursery trials were planted in Chatham, Posen and Hickory Corners, Michigan. Twenty-seven spring barley varieties were assessed for yield and quality, with quality results forthcoming from NDSU. Twenty-six of the varieties are of the two-row type except for Tradition, which is a six-row check variety.

Our experimental design was a randomized lattice with three replications across all locations. Planting was done with a research plot drill, and 50 pounds of nitrogen was top-dressed after planting. In addition to nitrogen, 21 pounds of available sulfur were also top-dressed at the Chatham and Posen locations. Disease was rated on a 1-5 scale, with 1 signifying no disease present and 5 signifying complete leaf infection. Harvest was completed with a plot combine, and all samples were weighed and yield calculated at a standard moisture of 13.5%.

Chatham variety trial

In Chatham, planting was completed May 6, as field conditions were favorable for early planting. The trial was planted on an Eben very cobbly sandy loam. Herbicide was applied June 26 prior to stem elongation, using 1 quart (qt) per acre of Bronate. A fungicide application of Prosaro at 8.2 ounces (oz) per acre was applied July 15 at 95% anthesis.

Weather conditions were marginal in Chatham this year. Soils were cold and wet in May-June. Then during grain fill, the plants experienced drought stress and high temperatures. This plus late season bird damage led to lower than normal yields at harvest on Aug. 15. The variety 2ND35693 was the highest yielding variety at Chatham, producing 55.9 bushels per acre. The trial averaged 40.65 bushels per acre (Table 1).

Posen variety trial

In Posen, planting was completed May 7 on Onaway fine sandy loam soil. Conditions from May through June were cool with adequate rainfall. July also brought adequate rainfall, but temperatures increased considerably. July was the only summer month that recorded normal to above normal temperatures this year. In August, precipitation ended abruptly, but moisture stress was minimal because temperatures cooled off and the crop had begun to mature.

No herbicide application was necessary, as the plots established quickly after planting preventing any serious weed infestation. Prosaro fungicide was applied July 12th at the rate of 8.2 oz and harvest was completed Aug. 20. Yields were excellent in this location, with KWS Fantex yielding the highest at 124.2 bushels per acre. Four other varieties at this location yielded above 100 bushels per acre and 10 other varieties yielded above 90 bushels per acre (Table 2).

Hickory Corners variety trial

In Hickory Corners, planting was done March 28 on Kalamazoo loam soil. Herbicide was applied prior to stem elongation using Husky at a rate of 13.5 oz per acre and Axial XL at a rate of 12 oz per acre. A fungicide application of Prosaro was made at flowering on June 14 at a rate of 8 oz per acre, and the plot was harvested July 23. Rainfall was above average at this location, with totals above normal through April and May, and average between June 1 and harvest.

The variety 2ND32529 was the highest yielding variety at this location, with a yield of 102.96 bushels per acre. Ten other varieties yielded over 80 bushels per acre at Hickory Corners this year, and the trial averaged 74.44 bushels per acre (Table 3). Seventy-two-hour germination energy (GE) was lower than expected at Hickory Corners, perhaps due to pre-harvest sprout. The cause should be confirmed when additional grain quality data becomes available from NDSU.

In summary, malting barley varieties can be grown in Michigan and high yields can be achieved. Early planting has been shown to be critical in achieving high yields, therefore planting should be completed as soon as weather and soil conditions allow. Consider planting varieties that are of European origin, as those varieties have proven to be the best adapted for higher yield and quality in Michigan over four years of research. Plant treated seed at a population of at least 1.2 million seeds per acre. Nitrogen should be limited to approximately 50 pounds per acre of actual nitrogen to keep seed protein levels down. It is essential to apply an appropriate fungicide at anthesis to control fusarium head blight, as the threshold for DON is very low in malt barley. Harvest should be completed as soon as possible, as preharvest sprout is unacceptable in malt barley.

Table 1. Eastern Spring Barley Nursery Barley variety performance at Chatham
(*varieties followed by the same letter are not significantly different in yield).

Variety

Yield (bu/a)

Sig.*

Test weight

Heading date

Height (in)

Disease (1-5)

72-hour GE (%)

2ND32529

55.73

a

50.07

3-Jul

19.33

1.00

96

2ND34634

41.60

ab

48.03

3-Jul

20.00

1.00

97

2ND34954

42.27

ab

51.33

4-Jul

19.67

1.67

100

2ND35530

38.50

ab

48.67

4-Jul

19.67

2.00

97

2ND35693

55.90

a

52.00

3-Jul

21.67

1.00

96

80675-52

35.00

ab

47.67

9-Jul

17.33

5.00

92

AAC Connect

50.53

ab

48.57

4-Jul

20.00

2.00

97

AAC Synergy

43.77

ab

48.30

6-Jul

18.33

2.33

98

Accordine

34.50

ab

47.70

8-Jul

19.00

3.00

92

Crescendo

32.30

ab

48.23

9-Jul

21.67

5.00

96

Esma

43.37

ab

49.63

6-Jul

18.67

2.00

96

Explorer

45.10

ab

47.80

4-Jul

17.00

2.00

98

Fangio

26.37

b

49.77

8-Jul

18.00

4.00

96

Iconic

31.15

b

49.50

8-Jul

18.00

3.67

99

Klarinette

40.70

ab

48.43

7-Jul

17.33

3.33

94

KWS Amadora

42.50

ab

49.13

6-Jul

17.67

3.00

93

KWS Fantex

34.40

ab

43.70

7-Jul

17.00

3.67

99

KWS Tinka

39.53

ab

50.17

5-Jul

18.00

2.33

97

LCS Genie

41.63

ab

51.73

8-Jul

17.67

3.00

97

LCS Odyssey

35.90

ab

47.80

7-Jul

16.33

3.67

98

LCS Opera

42.87

ab

45.97

7-Jul

17.67

4.00

95

ND Genesis

46.73

ab

52.17

3-Jul

23.67

1.33

98

Newdale

46.43

ab

48.23

6-Jul

20.33

2.67

97

Pinnacle

34.00

ab

48.03

4-Jul

19.33

1.33

97

Sangria

35.53

ab

49.37

6-Jul

18.33

3.33

98

Spartan

34.03

ab

51.30

3-Jul

21.00

1.00

97

Tradition

47.33

ab

50.23

5-Jul

22.67

1.00

97

Average

40.65

 

49.02

5-Jul

19.09

2.57

96

 

Table 2. Eastern Spring Barley Nursery Barley variety performance at Posen
(*varieties followed by the same letter are not significantly different in yield).

Variety

Yield (bu/a)

Sig.*

Test weight

Heading date

Height (in)

Disease (1-5)

72-hour GE (%)

2ND32529

99.37

abc

49.30

3-Jul

25.67

1.00

97

2ND34634

89.37

abc

48.50

1-Jul

24.00

1.00

97

2ND34954

76.63

abc

51.40

3-Jul

26.00

1.00

100

2ND35530

72.17

bc

47.93

5-Jul

20.67

1.00

97

2ND35693

64.40

c

50.13

3-Jul

26.33

1.00

98

80675-52

87.83

abc

50.77

12-Jul

20.33

1.00

99

AAC Connect

96.80

abc

49.50

5-Jul

24.00

1.00

100

AAC Synergy

88.37

abc

50.20

5-Jul

23.67

1.00

97

Accordine

97.50

abc

51.00

8-Jul

22.33

1.00

90

Crescendo

93.07

abc

50.37

12-Jul

24.67

1.00

98

Esma

113.17

ab

51.93

5-Jul

19.33

1.00

98

Explorer

88.17

abc

49.17

5-Jul

17.00

1.00

93

Fangio

91.40

abc

50.87

8-Jul

21.67

1.00

99

Iconic

107.00

abc

50.17

8-Jul

23.67

1.00

92

Klarinette

93.77

abc

52.17

8-Jul

18.67

1.00

96

KWS Amadora

96.50

abc

52.10

8-Jul

18.33

1.00

94

KWS Fantex

124.20

a

50.93

8-Jul

21.00

1.00

97

KWS Tinka

83.80

abc

48.37

8-Jul

19.67

1.00

93

LCS Genie

110.03

abc

51.73

8-Jul

19.00

1.00

97

LCS Odyssey

91.63

abc

48.83

8-Jul

19.67

1.00

96

LCS Opera

118.97

ab

49.27

8-Jul

21.33

1.00

95

ND Genesis

92.47

abc

50.90

3-Jul

29.33

1.00

94

Newdale

77.13

abc

48.43

8-Jul

21.33

1.00

100

Pinnacle

96.40

abc

49.73

5-Jul

24.33

1.00

95

Sangria

82.30

abc

50.83

8-Jul

18.33

1.00

93

Spartan

17.20

d

49.57

1-Jul

26.33

1.00

89

Tradition

87.07

abc

50.67

3-Jul

30.33

1.00

100

Average

90.25

 

50.18

6-Jul

22.48

1.00

96

 

Table 3. Eastern Spring Barley Nursery Barley variety performance at Hickory Corners
(*varieties followed by the same letter are not significantly different in yield).

Variety

Yield (bu/a)

Sig.*

Test weight

Heading date

Height (in)

72-hour GE (%)

2ND32529

82.44

a

40.35

10-Jun

28.00

57

2ND34634

67.97

a-d

36.70

5-Jun

26.00

81

2ND34954

70.52

abc

41.72

10-Jun

28.33

82

2ND35530

50.17

b-e

36.63

10-Jun

25.33

69

2ND35693

61.38

a-e

39.15

11-Jun

24.67

66

80675-52

44.20

cde

38.33

17-Jun

23.33

96

AAC Connect

62.08

a-e

39.17

10-Jun

26.67

57

AAC Synergy

69.67

abc

39.93

10-Jun

26.33

34

Accordine

52.50

b-e

39.77

15-Jun

23.33

81

Crescendo

52.44

b-e

39.22

16-Jun

26.33

94

Esma

67.48

a-d

39.12

10-Jun

21.33

91

Explorer

68.90

a-d

41.28

10-Jun

21.33

98

Fangio

54.62

b-e

39.13

15-Jun

24.67

88

Iconic

47.14

b-e

39.42

11-Jun

22.33

92

Klarinette

42.71

de

41.42

15-Jun

20.33

96

KWS Amadora

53.95

b-e

40.82

13-Jun

22.33

94

KWS Fantex

51.05

b-e

38.92

16-Jun

21.00

94

KWS Tinka

52.56

b-e

38.45

11-Jun

22.67

79

LCS Genie

54.28

b-e

40.80

19-Jun

21.67

91

LCS Odyssey

72.52

ab

39.80

10-Jun

23.33

89

LCS Opera

67.16

a-d

39.58

11-Jun

20.00

93

ND Genesis

73.04

ab

40.27

6-Jun

29.67

71

Newdale

70.53

abc

40.40

10-Jun

27.67

56

Pinnacle

58.53

a-e

38.15

10-Jun

29.67

85

Sangria

54.42

b-e

40.70

11-Jun

22.33

84

Spartan

40.23

e

42.52

5-Jun

28.33

90

Tradition

66.72

a-d

41.68

6-Jun

32.33

92

Average

59.60

 

39.76

11-Jun

24.79

81

 

Table 4. Eastern Spring Barley Nursery Barley variety performance statewide in 2019
(*varieties followed by the same letter are not significantly different)

Variety

Yield (bu/a)

Sig.

Test weight

Sig.

Height (in)

Sig.

2ND32529

79.18

a

46.57

a

24.33

abc

LCS Opera

76.33

ab

44.94

b

19.67

e

Esma

74.67

ab

46.89

a

19.78

e

KWS Fantex

74.32

ab

44.52

b

19.67

e

ND Genesis

70.75

ab

47.78

a

27.56

a

AAC Connect

69.8

ab

45.74

a

23.56

bcd

LCS Genie

68.65

ab

48.09

a

19.44

e

Explorer

67.39

ab

46.08

a

18.44

e

AAC Synergy

67.27

ab

46.14

a

22.78

cd

KWS Amadora

67.04

ab

47.35

a

19.44

e

Tradition

67.04

ab

47.53

a

28.44

a

LCS Odyssey

66.68

ab

45.48

ab

19.78

e

2ND34634

66.31

ab

44.41

b

23.33

bcd

Iconic

65.59

ab

45.97

a

21.33

cde

Newdale

64.7

ab

45.69

a

23.11

cd

2ND34954

63.14

ab

48.15

a

24.67

abc

Pinnacle

62.98

ab

45.31

b

24.44

abc

Accordine

61.5

ab

46.16

a

21.56

cde

Klarinette

61.35

ab

47.34

a

18.78

e

2ND35693

60.56

ab

47.09

a

24.22

abc

Crescendo

59.27

ab

45.94

a

24.22

abc

KWS Tinka

58.63

ab

45.66

a

20.11

de

Fangio

57.46

ab

46.59

a

21.44

cde

Sangria

57.42

ab

46.97

a

19.67

e

80675-52

55.68

ab

45.59

a

20.33

de

2ND35530

53.61

b

44.41

b

21.89

cde

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