Small grains crop and variety selection
Find guidance on how to choose the right barley, oat, wheat and rye varieties for your farm, as well as information about individual varieties and related regulations.
Guidance and background
- How to select a crop rotation
- Effect of crop rotation on yield, pest pressure, soil structure and water use.
- Pros and cons of several potential rotations
- Benefits of adding oat to the crop rotation
- What to consider when choosing a variety
- Nutrient management
- Seeding dates and rates
- Breeding program focus on winter hardiness
- Unique opportunities for winter barley
- Cultural and pest management considerations
- Mixing and matching varieties
- Crop maturity considerations
- Agronomic characteristics to look for
- Grading standards and tests
- Crop-specific guidelines
- Factors that impact grain quality
- Factors that affect a variety's performance
- Variety x environment interactions
- Environment and error
- How to set a realistic yield goal
- Fine-tuning your goal
Individual varieties and performance
How trials are conducted
To compare small grain varieties, trial plots are set up at several experiment stations in Minnesota and North Dakota as well as in farmers’ fields in many counties of both states. At each location, varieties are grown in replicated plots. Plots are handled so factors affecting yield and other characteristics are as similar as possible for all varieties at each location.
Trials aren’t designed for comparisons between crops/species because crops are grown on different fields or with different management. Only use the data to compare varieties within a single table.
Results by species
Each year, MCIA, in cooperation with the University of Minnesota and other universities, makes newly released varieties available. You can find a summary of varieties released in recent years under Foundation seed services.