The purpose of rolling barley is to push rocks into the soil so that the chopper header does not hit the rocks, avoiding damage to the equipment. However, there seems to be no common time to roll and it has been seen that rolling occurs at many different stages of crop growth. With a new ongoing project, the question "when is the best time would be to roll?" will finally have an answer.
The project was made with the idea to find out what the effects of rolling at different stages of crop growth to see what stage of the crop would be recommended best for rolling barley. The main objectives are to investigate how rolling barley for silage impacts the yield when we roll the barley at different growth stages and to make recommendations when to roll barley based on the data collected.
There are 7 treatments set up for this project: Untreated Check, 1-3 days post-seed, 1st leaf, 2nd leaf, 3rd leaf, 4th leaf and First node. The plots are 2.5m by 6m and each treatment is rolled only once in the same direction it was seeded. The barley, CDC Bow Barley, was seeded at 300 seeds/ m2. Then biomass samples (2 1m rows in the front and the back of each plot) will be taken for silage yield and then will be combined for seed yield. The average height of each plot will also be measured before harvesting.
Read more on the project page as it continues to update.