Effect of Desiccation on the Dormancy of Barley


IN certain seasons the condition of dormancy in barley is prolonged and the delayed germination of a proportion of the grains has an adverse effect on its use for malting1. Observations over a number of years have indicated that this condition is more marked when atmospheric humidity is high before harvest. The effect of desiccation has therefore been investigated, as it is also an important factor in the maturation of wheat2. During ripening, transfer of material to the endosperm ceases at a moisture content of about 42 per cent, and the grain then undergoes rapid drying3. The final moisture content is determined, however, by the atmospheric humidity and the degree of desiccation therefore depends on the weather conditions before harvest.

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  1. 1

    Bishop, L. R., J. Inst. Brew., 53, 86 (1947).

  2. 2

    Wellington, P. S., Ann. Bot., N. S., 20, 105 (1956).

  3. 3

    Harlan, A. V., and Pope, M. N., J. Agric. Res., 23, 334 (1923).

  4. 4

    Bishop, L. R., J. Inst. Brew., 50, 166 (1944).

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