Low input barley

Enhance Economic Opportunities for Agricultural Producers
Research Year: 

Barley is an important component of the crop mixture in Arizona. It improves the soil and breaks pest cycles, and thus benefits subsequent crops such as cotton and vegetables. Growers wish to recover their production costs when growing barley. This has become more difficult with the rising costs of inputs such as irrigation water and fertilizer.

Description of Action: 

University of Arizona researchers have evaluated low input barley varieties at the Maricopa Agricultural Center for the past 5 years.


Grain yield of low input barley is about half that of high input barley, but it requires only a third of the irrigation water and a quarter of the fertilizer. Therefore, if water and fertilizer costs are high, growing low input barley can be more economical. The potential savings by growing low input barley is about 2 acre-ft per acre of water and 150 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per acre grown.

A low input barley cultivar named Solar will be released in 2006. This cultivar was identified from evaluations at the Maricopa Agricultural Center. Compared with Solum, a low input barley released in 1991, Solar has 10 percent higher grain yield, 11percent higher grain test weight, and 24 percent less lodging.

Funding Agencies: 

Arizona Grain Research and Promotion Council

Conact Name: 
Michael J. Ottman
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

1140 E. South Campus Dr.

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ 85721

Tel: 520-621-1583 FAX: 520-621-7186