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Old 12-20-2011, 08:42 PM   #41
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By broadcasting or drilling the barley in high population, you could grow multiple times more in a very small plot. This also controls weeds by shading and discourages pest damage, but I admir your efforts. The seedlings look excellent.
Thanks warden! I appreciate the kind words. I don't know anybody who's grown small grains before, so it's really important for me to get this feedback on HBT.

Don't drills plant seeds in rows? I was really just trying to copy the style of planting a drill would do. BTW, I have already given up on digging the hills and furrows next year -- that was a total waste of time. But I am confused as to why broadcasting might help with shading. I don't want to be a stubborn dick , but here me out:

Here's why I'm confused: for a given planting density (the same number of seeds per acre whether you're broadcasting or drilling in rows), crowding the seeds up into rows increases the local barley density when compared to broadcasting, and increases shading of weeds that grow right next to the barley plants. The weeds that grow between rows of barley are definitely less shaded when you plant in rows as compared to broadcasting, but it doesn't matter, because these weeds are easily destroyed by manual cultivation.

On the other hand, if I kept the seeding rate per acre constant but switched to broadcasting, then the same number of barley plants per acre would be spread out into a more uniform distribution, and the shading near each barley plant would decrease. I also wouldn't be able to remove any weeds by cultivation.

If this is wrong -- what part of the reasoning is incorrect? Thanks for any help y'all can provide, and thanks again for the kind words!
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:54 PM   #42
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Ok I skimmed the earlier posts, but I think you planted around 40 - 50 lbs per acre? Figuring on about 10,000 seeds per acre for the 2 row planted would be around ~ 130 lbs per acre. You have approximately .065 of an acre. So your seeding rate should be around 8.5 lbs per your 3,000 sq ft plot.

If you plant that in rows, your plants will compete for available nutrients with each other planted at that density. If you plant less dense, you aren't maximizing your yeild. Broadcasting or drilling will spread out the seeds and allow for more room per plant per acre and shade and outcompete weeds. By cutting the rate in half all you do is create half the potentional and 3 times the work. If you want to weed everything in rows, more power to you, but you'll get more production and less work by broadcasting or drilling.

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:05 AM   #43
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It's basically this:














Vs this:

row.jpg   wheat.jpg  
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:26 AM   #44
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So, when you say drilling, does that imply narrower rows? Like maybe 6 or 7.5 inches? If so, I think I get what you're saying now. I want to try your recommendations (130 lb/acre seed, no weeding) next year.

When I was planning back in November, I saw the rate of 130 lb / acre that you recomend, but I also saw that the seed distributor recommended 85 lb / acre. I wasn't sure which one was correct, and I went with lower rates for a few reasons:

The field manager warned me about the weed seeds in the field, so I wanted to be able to walk through and cultivate by hand. I also wanted to be able to walk through to apply pesticide and fungicide if required. I chose 14" rows based on research done in wheat at Ohio State, indicating that yield only drops 5-15% when you plant 15" rows at 25 seeds / foot, compared to 7.5" rows at the same linear seeding rate (twice the lb / acre). I thought that I might easily loose more than 5-15% to hardy weeds, and that the wider rows would be worth it. I also assumed that barley would behave similarly to wheat. I didn't want to exceed the linear seeding rate in the study, to avoid the competition you mentioned. 14" rows at 25 seeds / foot equals 94 lb / acre, assuming 10,000 seeds / lb, a typical value for Conlon.

So, I planted 1/3 of my field (the middle plot) at 24 seeds / foot, or 90 lb / acre. (This was the seeding rate that two passes down each row with my Earthway seeder gave.) I chose to plant the other 2/3 at 45 lb / acre (12 seeds / foot, or one pass with the Earthway) because light is limited by nearby trees. I was concerned that if I asked my shady field to perform at the high seeding rates recommended for open plains, I might actually reduce yield. I don't know if that assumption is true for barley or not -- what do you think? The same NDSU article as above states that planting Conlon at 50 lb / acre only decreases yield by 15% (not 50% or more), because of increased tillering at the lower density. To me, this justified the lower planting rate --I would be sure not to exceed the intrinsic yield of the shady field, but if I undershoot the optimal rate, tillering will still get me within 15% of the maximum yield. Anyway, If the crop works, I will separate the harvest from the two seeding rates and compare yields.

If I guessed wrong on all my assumptions, I'll only lose 15% yield due to underseeding and another 15% due to the worst-case losses with 14" rows, or 28% all together. At the time I planted, I figured that weeds and overseeding might easily decrease yield by more than 28%.

Your recommendation might still be the way to go. I'll try it next year and compare results -- I wish I had talked to you back in November!

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Old 12-21-2011, 01:06 PM   #45
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Yes it will be interesting to see how it works. How do you plan on harvesting, thershing, winnowing, etc.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:16 PM   #46
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Harvesting may have to be done by hand. I wish I had access to a scythe, or at least a sickle. Knives may work in a pinch.

The field manager generously volunteered the use of a thresher, and I think it does winnowing as well. If not, I can winnow the old-fashioned way with a stiff breeze.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:47 PM   #47
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If we were a bit closer I could get your field harvested in a few second.
I raise mostly winter wheat, but barley prices are good enough I may get back into it next year. Skimming the thread I think most of your questions have been answered, but ill help however I can.

I do think your weeds will be a problem, if you are worried about a yield hit. Once your crop canopies then the shade will prevent further weeds, but from what I see you have plenty now. If you aren't against herbicide then try a little 24D in an test area. I think the plants need to be tillering before application. It will only take a day to see results. I bet it will get your weeds.



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Old 12-21-2011, 06:28 PM   #48
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Farm porn!!!!!1 I love it. Fife, I'm not even sure if your combine would fit on my field...

So 24D sounds really great -- it will kill dicots but leave my grasses alone. I had never heard of that until now. Some of the barley are tillering now, but I bet more will be soon. I'll go ahead and purchase some 24D.

How about safety when you apply it? Do you wear gloves and long sleeves? How about goggles and a face mask -- are those necessary? I have access to a pressurized spray machine -- basically a backpack with a battery-powered pump and an applicator wand. Do you think that will be a safe way to apply?

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:58 PM   #49
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Farm porn!!!!!1 I love it. Fife, I'm not even sure if your combine would fit on my field...

So 24D sounds really great -- it will kill dicots but leave my grasses alone. I had never heard of that until now. Some of the barley are tillering now, but I bet more will be soon. I'll go ahead and purchase some 24D.

How about safety when you apply it? Do you wear gloves and long sleeves? How about goggles and a face mask -- are those necessary? I have access to a pressurized spray machine -- basically a backpack with a battery-powered pump and an applicator wand. Do you think that will be a safe way to apply?
Hummm. I believe 2-4D is the main ingredient in Weed-B-Gon so threat it as you would spray your yard. I am bad and will likely soon die of cancer as i don't wear as much protection as I should. When I spray ditches and other areas with my ATV I just try to always turn into the wind. I use just gloves when mixing. Doing it on foot will suck and you will likely get a lot on you, so as much protection that makes you feel comfortable is what you should do. Those Tyvek suits only cost a few dollars. That said I generally think the fears of herbicide are over blown. Everyone I know likely see 10,000% more chemical then the average Joe and my kids only have one extra arm.

I'm 99% sure you are fine, but I would hate for some obscure issue to cause harm to your crop on my recommendation. So read the label and maybe even do a test area at double rate. If it will work you will see whatever will die start to curl up in a day or so (likely a few hours).
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:13 PM   #50
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Any more 24D is kind of a generic term for a family of herbicides like 2,4D-LV6 and E-99. The best deal may be called something else. We use E-99 as it does a bit better job and doesn't smell as bad.
AgriSolutions - Herbicides

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