Barley is an ancient product that dates back to 7000 BC and is one of the most compatible cereal products in the world. Barley is the fourth most important grain in the world, used by humans and animals for food, feed and drink, after corn, rice and wheat. Barley, which grows in temperate regions of the world, is more tolerant of drought and saline soils than other grains.
Although barley is generally considered an energy source, it has more protein than other grains commonly used in ruminant diets.
The food composition of barley can change depending on geographical location and climatic conditions. Because barley has a relatively fast fermentation rate, it should be gradually introduced into the animal diet.
Developing countries account for about 25 percent of the total barley harvest. There are thousands of barley farms planted and so there are hundreds of barley varieties. These types can be classified based on several factors: number of rows of seeds (2 rows and 6 rows), cluster compaction, body adhesion (peeled or bare barley), growth habit (winter or spring barley) and color (White, blue or black brains). Sometimes the type of end use is a way to classify the atmosphere.
85% of barley production is used to feed livestock and therefore its proper cultivation is of great importance. Six-row barley, which has a higher protein content, is a valuable nutrient. Double barley contains more starch and less protein and is therefore preferred for brewing.
Barley is grown in more than 100 countries: The top 10 barley producers (Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) together make up 75% of world production. Barley importers include countries that use it for animal feed, such as Saudi Arabia (29% of exported barley), our country Iran and beer producers such as Belgium and the Netherlands.
Energy and protein of feed barley
Feed barley grains are primarily used as a source of energy and protein in animal diets. The energy content of barley is slightly lower than the energy value of corn, wheat and sorghum, and to some extent it has more fiber (neutral detergent fiber or NDF, and acid detergent fiber or ADF). The amount of crude protein in barley is higher than corn and similar to wheat. On the other hand, barley has more potassium than corn, wheat or sorghum.
Bangouchia et al. (2005) conducted three experiments that assessed the effect of barley particle size and processing rate on diet-fed animals. Barley processed into smaller particles improves starch digestion and increases yields compared to cows fed a concentrate diet.
To increase energy and protein, feed barley can be added during silage of grass or corn, but for optimal performance in livestock, it must be crushed (Jacobs et al., 1995). Adding feed barley to wet forage increases the dry matter percentage and reduces effluent losses.
The cost of feed barley seeds is low and seeds from most species can be stored for replanting. Some special types of barley have been developed for annual forage and are often commercially available.
On the other hand, feed barley seeds are a useful feed for several different groups of livestock. When barley is properly processed, mixed and fed, it becomes an excellent edible seed. Feed barley can be used in growing and supplementing diets for farmed animals, as a supplement to fodder diets, as well as as a source of energy and protein for pregnant and lactating animals.
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