DURING THE LAST DECADE, the practices of harvesting,
storing, and feeding high-moisture corn were explored experimentally
by research institutions and adopted by many farmers. Advantages
often cited, as compared with conventionally harvested corn, include:
earlier and faster harvesting, minimum operations and equipment,
reduced labor, smaller field and storage losses, and an equal
or greater feeding value.
But barley, not corn, is the major feed crop in the Red River
Valley. Can barley be handled as a high-moisture crop with advantages
comparable to those of high-moisture corn? In 1960, personnel
of the Northwest School and Experiment Station, Crookston,
began an experiment to find out.
An 80-acre field of Traill barley was divided into 12 uniform
strips. Odd-numbered strips were harvested by direct combine when
grain was at approximately 30 percent moisture. The grain was
stored in an oxygen-free, steel silo. Barley in even-numbered strips
was harvested and stored in the conventional manner. Yields were
recorded; combine and shattering losses were determined; the labor,
equipment, and machinery used in harvesting, storing, and feeding
Data were collected on combine settings and adjustments, variations
in maturity of barley heads at harvest, percent smut, soil tests,
and weather conditions at harvest time. Chemical analyses were
made on representative barley samples. The stage of wild oat development
and the amount of wild oat shattering were determined
for each plot. Viability of wild oats after storage under the two
systems also was studied.
Black, R.; Jensen, H. R..
High-Moisture vs. Dry Barley on Typical Red River Valley Cash Grain Farms.
Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
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