Barley is the fourth largest grain crop globally after wheat, rice, and corn. Hordeum vulgare is an annual grass featuring erect stems with few, alternate leaves.. Barley is commonly used in breads, soups, stews, and health products, though it is primarily grown as animal fodder and as a source of malt for alcoholic beverages, especially beer.
Barley comes in two varieties, distinguished by the number of rows of flowers on its flower spike.
Six-row barley has its spike notched on opposite sides, with three spikelets at each notch, each containing a small individual flower, or floret, that develops a kernel.
Two-row barley has central florets that produce kernels and lateral florets that are normally sterile. Whereas six-row barley has a higher protein content and is more suited for animal feed, two-row barley has a higher sugar content and is thus more commonly used for malt production.
In India it is grown as a Rabi season crop. It is cultivated in winter seasons in tropical zones while it is sown in summer season in temperate area. It possesses excellent drought tolerant capacity compared to other cereals . It requires a temperature of 12-32 degrees and rainfall of 800-1100mm
Barley plants are cultivated on significant number of soil such as sodic, light & saline soil. Although, it gives good result in moderately heavy loam to sandy soils having neutral to saline response as well as moderate fertility. Acidic soils are not suitable for barley cultivation.
Give 2-3 ploughing properly to make the land get fine tilth and weed free. Ploughing should be followed by 2-3 harrowing to conserved moisture in soil. The stubbles and roots of earlier crop should be hand-picked up from the ground as it attracts termites.
Time of sowing
Sowing should be done from15 October to 15 November. Delayed sowing results in decreased yield.
Use row to row spacing of 22.5 cm. In case of delay sowing, use spacing of 18-20 cm.
Sowing should be done at the depth of 3-5 cm for crop under irrigated conditions and 5-8 cm depth under rainfed conditions.
Method of Sowing
For sowing use broadcasting and seed drill method.
Under irrigated conditions, use seed rate of 35 kg/acre and for rainfed conditions, use seed rate of 45 kg/acre.
To enhance the yield growth seeds should be treated with Bavistin@2 gm/kg to protect it from smut disease. It can be treated with Vitavax @2.5 gm/kg to prevent it from covered smut disease.
Manures and Fertilizers
Apply Urea@55 kg/acre, SSP@75 kg/acre and MOP@10 kg/acre.
Apply full dose of phosphorus and potash at time of sowing as a basal application whereas give nitrogen dose before giving pre-sowing irrigation.
In initial stage of crop, weed control is necessary to obtained good crop growth along with good yield. Broad and narrow leaves are two major weeds in barley. To control broad leaf weed, apply post emergence weedicide 2,4-D@250 gm/100 Ltr of water per acre, 30-35 days after sowing.
To control narrow leaf weeds use Pendimethalin 30% EC@1.4 Ltr/100 ltr water for one acre.
For barley, two or three irrigation are required during its life cycle. Avoid water stress during jointing, booting and heading stage. Moisture stress at this stage will lead to loss in yield. To optimize yield, soil moisture levels should remain above 50% of available moisture in the active root zone from seeding to the soft dough stage. Apply first irrigation at crown root initiation i.e 25 to 30 days after sowing. At panicle emergence stage applies second irrigation.
Crop matures at end of March or April depending upon variety use. To avoid over ripening avoid delay in harvesting. The right stage for harvesting is when moisture in grain reaches to 25-30%. For manual harvesting use serrate edge sickles. Store in dry place after harvesting.