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Barley and Me

Overview

Barley and Me is a fun, interactive and educational game to see if you've got what it takes to run and manage a farm growing barley. The game runs on any Android device and is available here. You are responsible for choosing how you manage your farm with each ‘field’ representing a different year of weather data from the meteorological weather station at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee.

Barley and Me screenshot

No matter what you choose the weather affects crop growth and production a lot! When the game starts you have to select your age group, this only affects the difficulty of the bonus questions asked but not the decisions you have to make.

There are 5 levels within the game with choices to make on growing your crops.

Barley and Me screenshot

Level 1: Choose your soil type, a clay soil is heavier and will therefore hold on to water if the weather is dry compared to a sandy, light, soil. Sandy soil will dry out quicker in the summer so flooding isn’t an issue BUT it will also potentially cause more pollution through leaching.

Barley and Me screenshot

Level 2: Decide how much fertiliser you want to apply. Not enough and production will be low, too much and pollution may increase, especially on a sandy soil!

Barley and Me screenshot

Level 3: Planting date is an important decision as planting early might mean there is not enough moisture in the soil for germination, the later you leave it the greater the risk of frost meaning they don’t germinate.

Barley and Me screenshot

Level 4: You can sow as much or as little seed as you like but you must make sure that there is enough fertiliser for efficient growth. Remember though that the application rate of seed, the amount of fertiliser, and the planting date can all influence your profit and also the soil type will influence environmental condition!

Barley and Me screenshot

Level 5: Because of the uncertainty of climate change you can choose what degree of change you want the game to predict production for. Scenario 1 just uses the weather we have experienced for the previous 10 years in the game, the other 2 are different!

Between each level in the game there are mini games to earn bonus points! These don’t affect yield but they do show that there are additional factors that influence production, one however isn’t realistic and hopefully you can figure out which one it is!

As mentioned previously each field represents one year of historic weather data, because of this you can see that each year has different outputs in terms of yield, profit and environmental impacts. This shows that no matter if the correct management decisions are made it doesn’t guarantee a good year!

Barley and Me screenshot

Barley and Me screenshot

Once all levels and mini-games are completed a final score is given which represents how well you have done in managing your farm wisely!

Learning & Resources


Printed from /learning/games-and-resources/barley-and-me on 15/08/20 12:06:26 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.