Originally Posted by KemP130
In my opinion I think it is too late to spray. All that is left is grain fill and you won't lose much from the aphids.
Fife, are these flowers?
I also noticed a bunch of dust (pollen?) floating off of the heads when I shake them. I was under the impression that most barley lines are selfing, that they only mate with themselves because pollination occurs internally to each seed. There aren't any other barley crops near my field (the bere hasn't even headed yet), so I'm not worried about genetic contamination. But I'm just curious: is this a sign that Conlon barley is able to have sex?
In other news:
I have a crop circle! Actually, it's more of a blob. And even more actually, it's lodging. Lodging happens in varieties with plump grains when they get a little too much nutrition combined with some rain and wind. Last week we had half an inch of rain, which doesn't sound like too much, but apparently it was enough to do the trick.
The plants are bent over at their 1st node, and they have begun to straighten up at the 3rd node. The overall effect is an S-shape in the stalk. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much to be done once the crop is lodged. There will be some losses, but many of the plants will straighten out and produce grain:
You can see the flag leaves and awns of the lodged plants still pointing skyward, albeit at a lower elevation.
Now check this out: the lodged area is right next to and has received the same amount of fertilizer as the area that is stumpy and yellow. I indicated the lodged area on this old photo:
Lodging can be caused by several things, but it typically doesn't happen to undernourished crops. So what's going on?
I can't say I'm sure. It could be that nitrogen was distributed in a strange pattern in the soil from a previous crop. Or it could be that the stumpy crop and lodging both have something to do with water.
The lush crop that had a lodged section is located in an arc around an irrigation head. Maybe this head is usually providing plenty of water (too much last week), but the rest of plot 2 is underwatered. Now, I don't think the crop shows signs of water stress. I haven't seen any wilting. But as Fife suggested, it could be that the crop in this part of the field has short roots due to frequent but too light watering. Those short roots may have exhausted the nitrogen in the top layer of soil, and they may be unable to get to nitrogen in dry deeper layers.
It's just a guess -- I won't know the water depth for sure until I dig a hole. Any thoughts here are much appreciated, as always.
Well, though the patchy-ass nature of the field has thus become more patchy-ass, there is plenty of good news to be had in picture form:
These grain heads are on the shortest, most nitrogen-deficient-looking plants in the whole field! Whatever the issue is, I'm still going to get some grain from this part.
This shovel is about four feet tall, and awn tips in this part of the field are at nip height.
A few of the bere plants are beginning to show their six-row heads, though most are just beginning to show emerging awns.
Hmm, that looks like at least one 5-gallon keg full of beer. Must not get hopes up, must not get hopes up...