Buttress barley is a perfect fit in Glenn Smith’s crop rotation.
For the past two years the Irwell farmer has pushed the boundaries by planting Buttress barley immediately after the harvest of his process broad bean crop in late November and early December.
This means the barley is being drilled as late as 9 December and is harvested in late March.
Despite this short growing window, Buttress has performed well, and in the two years Glenn has been growing the variety, he has been impressed.
“I’m very pleased with it, particularly the way it has yielded. This year it yielded around 9.4t/ha, which was similar to the previous harvest. It’s comfortably doing around 9t/ha and this is as a second crop.”
He jokes that he would one day like to try and realise Buttress’s true yield potential by planting it at a “normal” time in spring, but the real benefit of this crop for his system is its ability to yield so well as a second crop.
Glenn says after drilling, the crop bolts out of the ground and has required very little in the way of inputs.
Last season it received one fungicide spray and around 80mm of water in total. A plant growth regulator was applied to prevent lodging late in the season.
Buttress barley has harvested well and has sold for feed, although it does have malting potential.
“I’ve been really stoked with it over the past couple of years, it’s a nice grain and it has nice heads on it.”
It is the only barley Glenn grows in his 400ha operation on the rich soils of the Irwell/Brookside district. His is predominately an arable operation, although 5000 lambs are finished over winter. The lambs are finished on grass-seed and clover crops, and are all gone by October when the focus is on the cropping side of the business.
While Glenn does have success with establishing Buttress in December, it is ideally suited to an earlier planting window. Buttress is a medium maturing spring barley which is recommended to be sown from July until October. It is a medium to tall variety with good straw strength, and resistance to powdery mildew and net blotch. Buttress is moderately susceptible to scald and leaf rust so it will need scald protection if it is sown before July.
In FAR’s spring sown barley trials, Buttress is proving it delivers a consistently strong yield. It has a high seed weight with low screenings, and in the Canterbury sites placed 1st equal for yield, recording a relative yield of 104%. (2018/2019 four year adjusted mean over four sites irrigated and dryland).
Talk to your Luisetti Seeds’ agronomist about reaping the benefits of Buttress barley and buying your seed from a Canterbury owned company.
With a new name but a proven track record, Buttress spring sown barley’s on-farm performance is reflecting the cultivar’s outstanding results...