We’ve had several growers comment that their malting barley is looking a little pale now that we’ve had a serious dose of cold weather. While overwintering is always a concern with cereal crops recent history will show that our malting barley varieties, including Puffin, have been well adapted to withstand the winter weather in Ohio. This will be our 3rd year growing Puffin and we have been very happy with the results. In our experience Puffin will look pale in the winter months (especially when planted next to wheat!) through early spring even into April, but will quickly pass other crops once warmer weather arrives. We have harvested our Barley between 3-10 days before our wheat crops have been ready.
We recently attended the Ohio Seed Improvement’s Professional Seed Grower’s School in Wooster and enjoyed talks by Ohio State’s Dr. Eric Stockinger and Dr. Laura Lindsey on the subject of Malting Barley. Dr. Stockinger is Ohio State’s Barley Breeder and has been working on improving the availability of winter hardy lines. During his talk he noted that Puffin was one of a few lines that survived our last “Polar Vortex” in 2013-14. While the challenge of producing a variety that is both winter hardy with good malting characteristics is formidable he’s encouraged that there will be new varieties added to production soon. Dr. Lindsey is currently conducting trials to study seeding rates and Nitrogen application rates. Considering malting barley hasn’t been a staple crop in Ohio since prohibition, there isn’t a lot of relevant information on production methods. While her work is still in the early stages, we have begun using her recommendations on best practices.
If you’re growing malting barley and have questions, or you are interesting in getting started, please give us a call! 740-993-2311