Can winter barley be grown in Central Saskatchewan?
By Gursahib Singh, Garry Hnatowich, Mitchell Japp
Irrigation Crop Diversification Centre, Sasktchewan Barley Development Commission.
Winter barley is a frequent topic of inquiry to the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley). A field trial was established in the South Saskatchewan River Irrigation District to evaluate the survivability of winter barley varieties. The trial was established on an irrigated Elstow loam, previously planted in Canola.
Four winter barley varieties and one winter wheat variety (control check) were seeded in early September, 2021 in a randomized complete block design. The treatment consisted of two seeding rates (200 vs. 400 seeds/m2) and seed treatment (none vs. treated).
All five varieties emerged and successfully established in the fall. The canola stubble provided ideal snow-trap potential, with good snow cover for most of the winter. New growth in the winter wheat plot was observed in early May, whereas none of the four winter barley varieties had new growth in the spring. The project was terminated at the end of May due to no growth in winter barley plots.