Malting Barley Planting From Start To Finish

The planting of the 2013 Dare malting barley crop wrapped up over a week ago. But the process remains fascinating.

Here, in photos, is a quick look at how it’s done.

Step one: Plowing

Plowing overturns the soil about eight inches deep, breaks up any sod and stubble left over from the year before and pushes it back into the ground as humus.


But ground this clumpy is too difficult to plant. So we go through the field again to disc it, which breaks up these big clumps into smaller pieces. And then we harrow, which creates a fine texture in the topsoil and levels out the field. This is what a field looks like when we’re done plowing, discing and harrowing.


We use a drilling method to plant our seed. Here, the tractor is pulling a box drill. The seed drops from the box into a newly cut furrow. We can control the depth and rate of seeding.


And here’s a closer look at the drill. The chains in the rear push the soil back over the furrow and planting is done. Now we add water, or wait for rain.