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TN Valley Regional Research and Extension Center

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. — Researchers from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES) and Auburn University will hold a field day for growers interested in growing barley May 14. The field day will be at the Tennessee Valley Regional Research and Extension Center in Madison, Alabama. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about each aspect of barley production — from variety selection and plant nutrition to insect management and budgeting.

Henry Jordan, variety testing manager for the Auburn College of Agriculture’s department of crop, soil and environmental sciences, said this barley research is important for producers who are thinking about adding barley to their crop rotations this year.

“We’ve been conducting barley trials since 2020,” Jordan said. “We have found some varieties that do really well in Alabama growing conditions. I could see this being an easy addition to crop rotations for soybean and corn producers, especially in north Alabama.”

Field Day Lineup

A-barley-field-with-a-blue-sky.While the field day is free, preregistering online is preferred. To preregister for the upcoming barley field day, visit the Barley Field Day web page at www.aces.edu.

On-site registration will begin at 9 a.m., followed by opening remarks and tours of barley variety trial plots. Alabama Extension specialists — who are also AAES researchers — will present on a variety of topics, including the following:

  • Barley diseases
  • Plant nutrition
  • Insects and insecticides
  • Herbicide best management practices
  • Barley budgets

An industry representative from Hudson Alpha will also be on site to discuss barley contracts. Representatives from both Yellowhammer Brewing and Riverbend Malt House will also talk about the desirability of locally grown barley and how it benefits their businesses. The field day will conclude with a lunch, sponsored by Alabama Farm Credit. Jordan said lunch will be provided for all attendees. Read more details about the speakers and presentations on the field day web page.

Barley in Alabama

Jordan said there are malt houses within reasonable distances of north Alabama that are buying Alabama-grown barley. One of the benefits of variety trials is the ability to see the viability and productivity of different barley varieties. Researchers are determining the profitability of barley production for Alabama producers from plant to harvest.

More Information

To learn more about official variety testing through AAES, visit aaes.auburn.edu/variety-tests/.