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Old 02-23-2012, 04:16 AM   #81
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Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now. Where do you buy your ladybugs? Can you order them online?
I have a well stocked nursery that supplies ladybugs, praying mantis eggs etc. but I can't imagine in this day and age you couldn't order them. Another option I know of it there is a high velocity pulsing water system that kills aphids. But thinking about it from a logistical POV that amount of grass is definitely going to need some kind of drastic measure
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:16 AM   #82
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The yellow barley could be anything but most likely lack of N or the virus. Hard to tell the difference. Viruses normally don't follow a straight line like I see in your pictures. You do need about 150lb of total N per acre, so your rates seem low unless there was a bunch of N in the soil.
Thanks, Fife. Nitrogen was my first suspect until I noticed all the bugs. Good to know that they can show similar symptoms.

Hmm..., can I top dress with Nitrogen this late?
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:23 AM   #83
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Thanks, Fife. Nitrogen was my first suspect until I noticed all the bugs. Good to know that they can show similar symptoms.

Hmm..., can I top dress with Nitrogen this late?
You could apply it as a foliar spray of it is water soluble. Yellowing also could be from poor soil drainage and over watering
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:49 PM   #84
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You could apply it as a foliar spray of it is water soluble. Yellowing also could be from poor soil drainage and over watering
Very true. Is the yellow in a low spot where water collects?
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #85
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:46 PM   #86
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Neat and timely post. I'm planting my first crop of barley in a few weeks--Merit, AB's cultivar. I think I'll also plant some Charles, a six row variety with good malting characteristics that has been grown successfully in Virginia. Any risk of cross-pollination? This also has to be an all-organic operation, as per the request of my generous benefactor.

Also, what method are you going to use to harvest? I am planning on buying a scythe from American scythe supply. It really doesn't seem so bad, the youtube videos I've seen show that a European scythe makes pretty short work of any grain. Looks kind of fun. The threshing does seem like it will suck, though.

As to whether it's worth it? We'll see. Just a 1000 sq ft crop should produce enough for five batches of beer. Not too bad.

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Old 02-23-2012, 08:47 PM   #87
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Oh yeah, and props to Ryan (Fifelee) for providing the seeds. Cheers!

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Old 02-23-2012, 10:07 PM   #88
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Is in worth it monetarily? Of course not. Is it worth it to have beer that is 100% homegrown? Hell yes! This is something I might do when I retire. I see the malting as the most challenging part personally...

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:26 AM   #89
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Very true. Is the yellow in a low spot where water collects?
Hmm, the yellow spot is a bit lower, yes.

There is never water pooling on the surface after irrigation. If undrained water is the culprit, could it be building up below ground?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:33 AM   #90
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I think I'll also plant some Charles, a six row variety with good malting characteristics that has been grown successfully in Virginia.
Keep in mind, that because Charles is a winter barley, it will have a vernalization requirement. That is, it won't flower unless it gets cold enough. I don't know how cold it needs to be -- I remember looking for this info and not finding it.

Typically, you would plant Charles in the fall, let it overwinter, then it will start up growth again in the spring. I planted some Maris Otter, which is also a winter barley, last spring -- it grew, tillered, and got nice and thick, but never began jointing, and never headed.
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