John T. O'Donovan1, Thomas Kelly Turkington2, Kenneth Neil Harker3, Lori Oatway4, Cynthia A Grant5, Brian L. Beres6, Eric N. Johnson7, William May8, Marta S. Izydorczyk9, Aaron L. MacLeod9, Yadeta Anbessa10 and Cecil Vera11, (1)6000 C&E Trail, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB, CANADA (2)Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB, Canada (3)Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB, Canada (4)Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Field Crop Development Centre, Lacombe, AB, Canada (5)Brandon Research Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Brandon, MB, Canada (6)5403-1st Avenue S, PO Box 3000, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB, CANADA (7)Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Scott, SK, Canada (8)Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Indian Head, SK, CANADA (9)Canadian Grain Commission, Winnipeg, MB, Canada (10)Field Crop Development Centre, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Lacombe, AB, Canada (11)Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Melfort, SK, Canada
Only about 25% of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is selected for malting annually in western Canada due to quality issues. While nitrogen fertilization can increase yield, it can also impair quality by increasing protein to unacceptable levels. The objective of this study was to determine the responses of several malting barley cultivars (CDC Kindersley, Cerveza, AAC Synergy, ABI Voyager) to increasing nitrogen rates compared to the response of AC Metcalfe, the most commonly grown malting cultivar. Experiments were conducted under no-till systems at seven locations in western Canada in 2013 and 2014. Nitrogen was banded at seeding at 0, 25, 50, 100 kg/ha. AAC Synergy and AC Metcalfe produced the highest and lowest kernel yields, respectively, while the other three cultivars produced similar yields. Both barley kernel yield and protein concentration increased with nitrogen rate. However, ABI Voyager and AAC Synergy produced significantly lower protein concentration in response to nitrogen, and had more plump kernels, less thin kernels and greater kernel weight than AC Metcalfe. These cultivars also tended to lodge less than AC Metcalfe but took two to three days longer to mature. The results indicate that malting barley cultivars such as AAC Synergy and ABI Voyager have superior agronomic characteristics compared to AC Metcalfe including higher kernel yield and lower protein concentration.