The Growing Point | October 2019
How to minimize sprouting in future crop years
If you are consistently finding that your grain is being rejected based on poor falling number, there are some management and genetic decisions you can make to avoid the conditions that cause sprouting.
- Harvest before mature grain is exposed to moisture:
- Seed as early as possible and choose varieties that are rated “early” or “very early”. If harvest conditions require swathing, try to leave taller straw for the windrow to rest on, this will help aeration of the windrow and encourage drying.
- Prevent lodging: When a crop lodges, the grain is at higher risk for moisture exposure. Again, genetics and management play a role in lodging. Chose a variety that is resistant to lodging. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) can also help to prevent lodging.
- Chose a variety that has higher resistance to sprouting.
- Only store dry grain: If harvested grain is not sufficiently dry, use a dryer to reduce moisture before storing in a bin or bag.
The effectiveness of any genetic and management decision will be influenced by the environment, so, if you are experiencing sprouting, the above options still may not provide complete protection.