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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

How Spring Barley Can Help Growers Cut Their Carbon Footprint

Spring crops are generally better at carbon and nutrient recycling than autumn-sown ones, and spring barley can help reduce carbon footprints by using better varietal genetics and through the benefits of cover crops.

New spring barley varieties provide high performance, are efficient nitrogen users, are drought resistant, and are ideally suited for low-input, high-output systems, said Neil Fuller, a UK-based independent soil and carbon specialist.

Thirty percent of the carbon footprint of beer comes from the production of malting barley, and Fuller explained that better varieties, cover cropping, crop rotations, and healthier soil will help, adding that some spring barley growers have cut their nitrogen usage by 50-75 percent by taking a soil-focused approach.

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