Mixed crops (was Re: Andrew and Fairchild Gardens)

Tony Travis ajt at uk.ac.sari.rri
Thu Sep 3 04:56:36 EST 1992

In article <9282222239.MIN-LXKCa26691.bionet-news at uk.ac.daresbury> you write:
: When I lived in Eastern Ontario, a marginal agricultural area, the local
: farmers told me they planted a mixture of oats and barley because if the
: year were dry, the one grain would do better, and if it were wet, the
: other would.  So this method gave them a good stand and reasonable crop
: of cattle feed either way.

Yes, I think that mixtures of crops were planted here by small hill
farmers for the same reason.  The emphasis in trials now, though, is on
the effects of nitrogen fertilisers and other chemicals to regulate the
development of the crop.

One of the most interesting things about Barley is the awn (spike on
the seed) which can develop quite incredible water potentials and helps
to make sure that grain-filling occurs under water stress.  The awn is
also important photosynthetically.  One problem with awns is that they
can make barley straw unpalatable because they contain a lot of silica.


Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  Tony Travis
Rowett Research Institute,            |  JANET: <ajt at uk.ac.sari.rri>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  other: <ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk>
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |  phone: 0224-712751

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