The word cereal is derived from ceres, the Roman Goddess of grain. The common cereal crops are rice, wheat, corn, oats and rye. The term cereal is not limited to these but also flours, meals, breads and alimentary pastes or pasta. Cereal science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of cereal. It is the study the nature of the cereals and the changes that occurs naturally and as a result of handling and processing.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Barley: Cultivation and harvesting

There are two types of barley seed stock commonly available: malting and feed varieties.
*Malting varieties: Must meet rigorous standards for germination quality, kernel size and weight, kernel plumpness, and moisture content.
*Feed varieties: Varieties that do not meet malting industry standards

A moderately cool and dry climate is most suited to barley. Although barley is able to withstand heat in a dry climate or high humidity in a cool climate, it performs poorly in a hot and humid climate.

Barley is a drought resistant crop and requires 390 to 430 mm of rainfall for optimum yield. As barley is sensitive to nitrogen and water hence, field should be well leveled.

Barley cannot tolerate poorly drained soil, grows well when pH values are between 6.0– 8.5. It generally grows better than any other small grain in highly alkaline soils. Best soils for growing barley are well-drained loams and clay loams.

Soils with a pH lower than 6 may induce aluminum toxicity, leading to poor growth. Barley is more sensitive to very wet conditions but more tolerant to alkaline soil than the other small grains.

In irrigated areas, field should be prepared after pre sowing irrigation for proper germination.

Barley can be grown under irrigated, rainfed and limited irrigation conditions. Generally, it requires 2-3 irrigations for better yield. The malt barley requires 3 irrigations to ensure better yield, grain uniformity and grain quality.

After physiological maturity, 10 or 15 days are required to harvest barley in temperate dry lands. Harvesting time should be decided when barley stem becomes dry enough to be broken by hand easily in semi-arid and arid areas.

In general, barley is ready for harvest in about 4 months after sowing; some varieties in 60 days. It should be harvested as soon as it reaches the moisture content of 13 %.

Seed is harvested mechanically with a combine and thresher. Seed harvested for use in the malting industry must be harvested with care, as cracked or skinned seeds are not acceptable to industry standards.

Barley grain absorbs water from the atmosphere and should be stored at an appropriate dry place to avoid storage pest losses.
Barley: Cultivation and harvesting

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