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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Damage to Barley Spikes Resulting from Impact Momentum Similar to Small Sized Hail1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 6, p. 1015-1018
    Received: Jan 16, 1987

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  1. Hayden Ferguson,
  2. A. J. Jones and
  3. K. J. Tsai2



Hail loss assessment in small grains is based on percent kernel loss because of shatter or spike loss. This procedure does not consider losses that may occur in kernel size and weight as a result of spike bruising without accompanying shatter or spike loss. This study was conducted to determine if bruising of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) spikes by small, low energy hailstones might cause a yield loss above that resulting from kernel shatter or spike loss. A hail simulation device was constructed that approximately duplicated the momentum of hail particles in the size range of 10 to 12 mm in diameter. Spikes of two- and six-rowed barley were impacted over a period beginning when kernels were starting to form and ending when they were fully swollen. Bruising caused a significant decrease in kernel weight in both spike types. In six-rowed cultivars, the loss was associated with a decrease in the number of plump kernels; in two-rowed cultivars, the loss resulted from a decrease in both the weight and number of plump kernels. Thus, hail loss assessment that considers only kernel shatter or spike loss may underestimate actual loss, especially from small hail occuring during the early stages of kernel development.

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