Production of green feed and grain from grazed barley in Northern Syria
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W. K. Anderson. (1/7/2003). Production of green feed and grain from grazed barley in Northern Syria. Field Crops Research, 10, pp. 57-75.
The effects on barley production of variety, seed rate, nitrogen fertilizer rate and timing of grazing were studied in experiments grazed by sheep. The production of green material at the tillering stage and subsequent grain yields were measured. The production of green material (measured as dry matter) at the time of tillering or grazing was increased by up to 59% (0.7 t/ha) from applications of from 50–120 kg N/ha depending upon site, season, seed rate and variety. Dry matter at tillering increased by 5–53% (0.2–1.0 t/ha) when a seed rate of 240 kg/ha was used instead of the more usual seed rate, for the area, of 120 kg/ha. In one experiment where variety, seed rate and nitrogen rate were studied together, all the main effects and first order interactions were significant (P > 95%). The combination of 120 kg/ha of seed and 60 kg/ha of nitrogen resulted in the highest yields for both the varieties tested in that experiment. Grain yields after grazing were also increased by the addition of nitrogen fertilizer. However, the rates required to reach maximum yield in grazed plots were approximately double those required in ungrazed plots (50–100 kg/ha). Depending on variety and season, the highest yields were obtained from seed rates of 30–120 kg/ha. Significant interactions (P > 95%) were also found between variety and seed rate in grain production after grazing. In one experiment, where grazing was practised at three different growth stages (early tillering, late tillering, jointing) dry matter yields were increased, but grain yields were reduced, as grazing was delayed. Nitrogen fertilizer increased grain production relatively more than dry matter production in all experiments. The reverse was most often true for increases in seed rate. A group of varieties selected as ‘forage’ types did not perform differently for dry matter at tillering or grain yield, than a group of barleys selected as ‘dual-purpose’ types. On the basis of two season's data some varieties did perform better than others for both dry matter and grain yield. Comparisons between the landrace variety Arabi Abied and the improved variety C-63 over a number of experiments and seasons showed that Arabi Abied produced more green grazing under cooler conditions and more grain at lower levels of applied nitrogen, whilst C-63 was more responsive to improved agronomic techniques including early sowing, increased seed and nitrogen rates. It was concluded that considerable scope exists for increasing output from barley livestock systems in northern Syria based on a combination of variety and improved agronomic inputs.
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