Spring barley will grow rapidly in late summer and continue until a hard freeze. It does not typically not over-winter in Wisconsin. Barley is a good choice if fall-harvested forage is the main goal. It is more tolerant of temporary dry conditions than legumes.
Oats and barley have had equal yields in fall forage trials of 1-3 tons of dry matter per acre
Seeding rate: Seed all at 40-60 lbs per-acre for a cover crop only, 75-100 lbs per-acre for forage.
Seeding depth: Drill 1-2” deep or broadcast and lightly till-in.
Fertility needs: 40-60 lbs N, and if for forage, 20 lbs P2O5 and 90 lbs K2O.
Management and termination
None needed, will winter kill
In a cover crop mix:
After wheat: Barley can be mixed with any of the brassica or legume cover crops. Cut seeding rate by 1/3 in mixes.
Research in Wisconsin:
Research updates coming