Multifactorial experiments on winter barley cv. Igri grown after potatoes were made from 1981 to 1983 on silty clay loam soils at Rothamsted. All tested combinations of seven factors, each at two levels: with and without autumn pesticide (aldicarb), two sowing dates (September or October), with and without a fungicidal seed treatment (‘Baytan’), with and without spring and summer fungicides, two amounts of nitrogen, two times of applying nitrogen and with and without a growth regulator (‘Terpal’). Growth, development, yield, nitrogen uptake, pests and diseases were monitored. Sowing in September, fungicide sprays in spring and summer, and the growth regulator had the largest mean benefits on grain yield (+0·80, +0·56 and +0·34 t/ha respectively). Some factors interacted with sowing date; thus aldicarb, the fungicide sprays in spring and summer and the later timing of N all increased yield more on the September-than on the October-sown barley. The larger yields on the September-sown plots were associated with more ears/m2 (978 v. 744) and, in spite of fewer grains per ear (17·8 v. 20·1), more grains per m2 (17·6 v. 14·7 × 103), but lighter grains (39·2 v. 42·3 mg). The largest yields each year (ca. 8.0–8.5 t/ha) were obtained from September-sown barley fully protected from pests and from pathogens in spring and summer and given N in April rather than in March.
The aphid vectors of barley yellow dwarf virus were sufficiently common and infective in two of the three autumns to infect the September-sown barley sufficiently that their control by aldicar b enhanced yield. Nematodes, slugs and dipterous stem borers were not numerous enough to be damaging in any year. Mildew in autumn was controlled by the seed treatment, but effects on yield were inconsistent. Mildew in spring and summer was more abundant on the October-than on the September-sown barley; it was controlled by fungicide sprays, which increased yield significantly each year. Leaf blotch was more abundant on the September-sown barley.