The steps in any cycle of management are to:
- Adjust inputs
- Set targets
- Monitor success
- Assess progress
… and repeat.
Measurements are vital for good management and learning. As well as assessing weeds, pests and diseases, crop managers must assess the crop itself. This guide describes crop progress, structure and final performance can then be compared with benchmarks or a manager's chosen targets.
A crop’s growth best relates to the natural resources that it captures. By knowing available resources, managers can tell whether growth has been better or worse than expected due to weather or to husbandry.
Crop assessments should be objective and, where possible, measured. This guide presents metrics by which production targets can be set and crop progress monitored. It also explains how the metrics interrelate and can be influenced.
This growth guide presents a series of benchmarks for barley. Benchmarks are a quantitative reference point against which a crop’s progress, structure and final performance can be compared.
The guide can be used to understand the factors that affect crop growth, including the relative importance of variety, natural environment and husbandry.