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Extension > Agriculture > Nutrient Management > Nutrient/Lime Guidelines > Fertilizer Recommendations for Agronomic Crops in Minnesota > Barley

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barley

Fertilizer Recommendations for Agronomic Crops in Minnesota

Barley

Daniel E. Kaiser, Extension Soil Scientist; John A. Lamb, Extension Soil Scientist; and Roger Eliason, Director, University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory

Revised 2011

Nitrogen

subsoil map

Figure 1. The fall soil nitrate test should be used for nitrogen recommendations in the counties that are shaded.

In Minnesota, barley is either grown for malting or as a feed grain. This intended use affects the guidelines for nitrogen (N) use. Barley can replace corn in a livestock ration. It is a good alternative for corn where soils are droughty and corn yields are frequently limited by moisture stress.

Nitrogen fertilizer guidelines can be based on the results of the soil NO3--N test or the consideration of expected yield, previous crop, and soil organic matter content. The soil NO3--N test is suggested for use in shaded areas of western Minnesota (see accompanying map).

Guidelines for fertilizer N are calculated as follows:

Malting Barley

Nrec = (1.5) (EY) — STN(0-24 in.) — NPcNO3--N

Feed Grain Barley

NO3--N   Nrec = (1.7) (EY) — STN(0-24 in.) — NPc

Where:

EY = expected yield (bu./acre)NO3--N
STN = nitrate-nitrogen (NO3--N) measured to a depth of 24 in. (lb./acre) NO3--N
Npc = amount of N supplied by the previous legume crop (lb./acre). NO3--N
These N credits are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1. Nitrogen credits for various legume crops that might precede barley in a crop rotation. Use these credits for the "Npc" factor in situations where the soil nitrate test is used.

Previous Crop 1st Year Nitrogen Credit
  lb. N/acre
  Soybean 20
  Edible beans, field peas 10
  Harvest sweetclover 10
  Harvested alfalfa*  
    4 to 5 plants/ft2 75
    2 to 3 plants/ft2 50
    1 or fewer plants/ft2 0
  Harvested red clover 35

* Add 20 lb. N/acre to the credits listed if the 3rd or 4th cutting was not harvested.

Use Table 2 if the soil NO3--N test is not used. The suggestions in this table are based on a realistic expected yield, previous crop, and soil organic matter content. When using guidelines in this table, there is no distinction between malting barley and feed barley.

The N supplied by legume crops in a rotation with barley can be utilized by barley grown for the first and second year after the legume.

The nitrogen credits for a legume crop grown two years preceding the barley are listed in Table 3. These credits are suggested when the soil NO3--N test is not used. Subtract these credits from the N recommendations listed for the crop sequence when barley is grown after crops in Group 2.

Crops in Group 1:

Alsike clover, birdsfoot trefoil, grass/legume hay, grass legume pasture, fallow, and red clover.

Crops in Group 2:

Barley, buckwheat, canola, corn, grass hay, grass pasture, oat, potato, rye, sorghum-sudan, sugar beet, sunflower, sweet corn, triticale, and NS wheat.

Table 2. Nitrogen guidelines for barley for situations when the soil nitrate test is not used.

  Expected Yield (bu./acre)
Crop Grown Last Year Organic Matter Level* 50 or less 50-59 60-69 70-79 80-89 90-99 100+
  Alfalfa (4+ plants/ft2) Low
Med and high
0
0
0
0
10
0
25
0
40
20
55
35
75
50
  Alfalfa (2 to 3 plants/ft2) Low
Med and high
0
0
0
0
15
0
30
10
45
25
60
40
75
55
  Soybeans
  Alfalfa (1 or less plants/ft2)
Low
Med and high
30
0
50
30
65
45
80
60
95
75
110
90
125
105
  Edible beans, field peas Low
Med and high
40
0
60
40
75
55
90
70
105
85
120
100
135
115
  Group 1 Crops Low
Med and high
0
0
20
0
35
15
50
30
65
45
80
60
95
75
  Group 2 Crops Low
Med and high
50
30
70
50
85
65
100
80
115
95
130
110
145
125
  Organic Soils   0 0 0 0 30 40 50

Table 3. Nitrogen credits when barley is grown two years after a legume and last year’s crop was not a legume.

Previous Legume Crop Nitrogen Credit for 2nd Year After a Legume
  lb. N/acre
  Alfalfa (4+ plants/ft2) non-harvested sweetclover 35
  Alfalfa (2 plants/ft2) 25
  Alfalfa clover, birdsfoot trefoil, and red clover 20

* low = less than 3.0%; medium and high = 3.0% or more

Phosphate and Potash

Guidelines for phosphate and potash fertilizer use are listed in Tables 4 and 5, respectively. For more details on the application of these fertilizers, see FO-03773, Fertilizing Barley in Minnesota. In general, lower rates of phosphate and potash can be used if placed in a band near the seed. Compared to a broadcast application, rates can be reduced by 1/2 if a banded application is used.

Other Nutrients

The use of sulfur (S) and copper (Cu) may be important for optimum barley production in limited situations. If barley is grown on sandy soils, either broadcast 25 lb. S/acre or use 10-12 lb. S/ acre with the drill at planting. Sulfur will not be needed for barley grown on fine-textured soils.

The Cu suggestions are summarized in Table 6. Copper will not be needed in a fertilizer program when barley is grown on mineral soils. In Minnesota, barley has not responded to the use of zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and boron (B) in a fertilizer program.

Table 4. Phosphate fertilizer Guidelines for barley production.

  Phosphorus (P) Soil Test, ppm*
Expected
Yield
Bray: 0-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21+
Olsen: 0-3 4-7 8-11 12-15 16+
    Drill Bdcst Drill Bdcst Drill Bdcst Drill Bdcst  
bu./acre — P2O5 to apply (lb./acre) —
less than 50   20 35 15 25 10 15 10-15 0 0
50-59   20 40 15 25 10 15 10-15 0 0
60-69   25 45 15 30 15 20 10-15 0 0
70-79   25 50 20 35 15 20 10-15 0 0
80-89   30 60 20 40 15 25 10-15 0 0
90-99   35 65 25 45 15 25 10-15 0 0
100+   35 70 25 50 20 0 10-15 0 0

* Use one of the following equations if a phosphate guideline for a specific expected yield and a specific P soil test is desired.

P2O5 rec = [0.785 - (0.039) (Bray P, ppm)] (Expected Yield)
P2O5 rec = [0.785 - (0.050) (Olsen P, ppm)] (Expected Yield)

Table 5. Potash fertilizer guidelines for barley production.

  Potassium (K) Soil Test, ppm*
Expected
Yield
0-40 40-80 80-120 120-160 160+
  Drill Bdcst Drill Bdcst Drill Bdcst Drill Bdcst  
bu./acre — K2O5 to apply (lb./acre) —
less than 50 25 50 20 40 15 20 10-15 0 0
50-59 30 60 25 45 15 25 10-15 0 0
60-69 35 70 25 50 20 30 10-15 0 0
70-79 40 85 30 60 25 35 10-15 0 0
80-89 50 95 35 65 25 40 10-15 0 0
90-99 55 105 40 75 30 45 10-15 0 0
100+ 55 110 40 80 35 50 10-15 0 0

* Use the following equation for a potash guideline for a specific expected yield.

K2O rec = [1.286 - (0.0085) (K Soil Test)] (Expected Yield).

Table 6. Copper suggestions for barley grown on organic (peat) soils.

Copper Soil Test Broadcast Foliar Spray
ppm — copper to apply (lb./acre) —
0 - 2.5 (low) 6-12 0.3
2.6-5.0 (marginal)* 6 0.3
5.1 + (adequate) 0 0

*Suggestions for marginal soil tests are based on limited trial data.

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