Dual Purpose Barley Production in the Mediterranean Climate: Effect of Seeding Rate and Age at Forage Cutting

  • Heba Sabry Attia SalamaEmail author


Barley cutting in the late winter season is a strategy to provide good amount of high quality forage in the Mediterranean region. A 2-year field study was conducted in Alexandria, Egypt, to explore the variations in forage and grain yields and their characteristics of barley seeded with 100, 125, and 150 kg ha−1 and cut at 45, 55, and 65 days after sowing (DAS). The highest significant forage and grain yields were obtained with highest seeding rate (150 kg ha−1), amounting to 18.91, and 4.38 t ha−1, respectively. Cutting barley at early growth stages (45 and 55 DAS) resulted in the production of higher forage yield with higher quality, in terms of high crude protein and low fiber content, compared to late forage cut at 65 DAS. Meanwhile, early forage cutting resulted in the least amount of reduction in the final grain yield and, thus, grain income. The percentage reduction in grain income associated with forage cutting at 45, 55, and 65 DAS, amounted to 5.7, 19.6, and 31.0%, respectively. However, the net returns obtained from the dual purpose system, when forage was cut at 45 and 55 DAS were $104.27 (11.4%), and $67.91 (7.4%), respectively, greater than that obtained in the grain-only system. Economic analysis showed that the extra income from early forage cutting was sufficient to compensate the grain yield reduction in the dual purpose system. Dual purpose barley production, thus, proved to be highly feasible in the region due to the good price of the barley forage.


Dual purpose barley Economic return Forage yield Forage quality Grain yield 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no potential conflict of interest for this research.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crop Science Department, Faculty of AgricultureAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt

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