Grain processing differences between barley varieties for cattle
Barley is fed to cattle as a concentrated energy source. Before feeding, the grain is cracked (processed) to expose the endosperm to rumen fermentation. Processing disrupts the endosperm starch-protein matrix and produces fine particles (fines). Fines may lead to acidosis and liver abscesses in cattle. In 2004, nine Western Canadian barley varieties, including seven feed and two malt varieties, were analyzed for fines produced after three processing treatments: dry with minimal processing, dry with excessive processing, and tempered with excessive processing. Fines were measured as the percentage of processed sample falling through a 1.40 mm brass sieve. Grain hardness, using Single Kernel Characterization System (SKCS), and protein content, using Near Infrared Transmittance (NIT) were analyzed to identify their relationship with fines production. Varieties differed in % fines produced after rolling with variety by processing interaction being present (P<0.05). However, Xena and CDC Dolly produced significantly less fines for all processing methods and CDC Trey and CDC Bold produced more (P<0.05). Varieties with more protein produced fewer fines when minimally dry rolled, with the exception of Xena (P<0.05). Grain hardness and protein content appear related to processing characteristics; however, correlations were not significant. Grain hardness was significantly correlated with protein (R=0.77, P<0.05).
Soils and Crops Workshop