Karamanos, R. E., Flore, N. A., Harapiak, J. T. and Stevenson, F. C. 2012. The effect of non-targeted application of propiconazole on the yield and quality of malt barley. Can. J. Plant Sci. 92: 341-349. There is a desire to use non-targeted applications of foliar fungicide to improve malting barley production under higher fertility situations. An experiment was conducted at 80 sites (location by year combinations) with a 12 combinations of N/P/K rate-placement to determine if applications of propiconazole improve malt barley yield and quality under high fertility conditions. Treatment differences for days to maturity were no greater than about 1 d. Fungicide by fertility treatment interactions were not significant (P>0.05). Applications of propiconazole improved yield by 305 kg ha-1 (6%) and plump kernels by 3 g kg-1 (3%) across all fertility treatments, which included N fertilizer rates ranging from 0 to 90 kg N ha-1. The effect of fungicide on yield was greatest at sites with highest yield potentials (ca. 8000 kg ha-1) and was not statistically significant at lower-yielding sites (ca. 3000 kg ha-1). Application of propiconazole also improved net returns [barley revenue - (N cost propiconazole cost other operating costs)] by $22 ha-1 with higher barley priced ($190 T-1) and high yield potentials. At sites with low yield potential, the application of propiconazole resulted in net losses of about $7 ha-1 compared with not applying propiconazole. Nitrogen fertilizer rates from 0 to 90 kg N ha-1 (15/30-0 P-K fertilizer treatment combinations) increased yield and protein concentration, and reduced plump kernels in a curvilinear fashion when averaged across fungicide treatments. Net returns were maximized at N fertilizer rates slightly less than 90 kg N ha-1, depending on the price/cost regime. Consequently, malt barley producers will have to consider tradeoffs regarding N fertilizer rate that optimizes yield/returns and kernel quality. Also, decisions regarding fungicide applications and N/P/K fertilizer rate-placement applications can be made independent of each other for malt barley production.
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