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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 95 No. 4, p. 821-827
    Received: July 9, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): sy00@aub.edu.lb
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Yields of Early Planted Barley after Clipping or Grazing in a Semiarid Area

  1. Sui-Kwong Yau *
  1. Dep. of Plant Sci., Faculty of Agric. and Food Sci., Am. Univ. of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut, Lebanon


In West Asia and North Africa, farmers may permit sheep (Ovis aries) to graze young barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) crops and then let the crops recover to allow grain harvest at maturity. The objective of this study is to test the hypothesis that in a semiarid area, clipping or grazing before stem elongation on a suitable barley cultivar planted early in the season may not reduce grain and straw yields. Field experiments (1997–1998 to 1999–2000) were conducted in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon at a site with Vertic Xerochrept soil and 513 mm of long-term annual precipitation. Treatments were early planting with no clipping or grazing (ENG), early planting with early clipping or grazing (EG), and normal planting with no clipping or grazing (NNG). Hand clipping was performed in late winter to early spring before stem elongation in 1997–1998 and 1998–1999. In 1999–2000, sheep grazing was performed. There were large differences in weather conditions among the three seasons. Clipping or grazing removed 2400, 450, and 280 kg ha−1 dry matter in 1997–1998, 1998–1999, and 1999–2000, respectively. In comparison with the ENG and NNG treatments, the EG treatment did not reduce grain and straw yields in all years. In 1998–1999, the EG treatment yielded 1020 and 2130 kg ha−1 more grain and biological (grain + straw) yield, respectively, than the NNG treatment. Thus, if farmers in semiarid areas plant their barley crops early and then allow green-stage grazing, they may gain a certain amount of nutritious forage without decreasing grain and straw production.

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Copyright © 2003. American Society of AgronomyPublished in Agron. J.95:821–827.