Fox, GP, Kelly, AM, Bowman, JGP, Inkerman, PA, Poulsen, DME & Henry, RJ 2009, 'Is malting barley better feed for cattle than feed barley?', Journal of the Institute of Brewing, vol. 115, no. 2, pp. 95-104.
Full text of this article is made available here with kind permission from the publishers.
Barley grain from a combined intermediate and advanced barley breeding trial was assessed for grain, feed and malt quality from two sites over two consecutive years, with the objective to ascertain relationships between these traits. Results indicated there were genetic effects for both malt (hot water extract and friability) and “feed” traits (as measured by hardness, acid detergent fibre, starch and in-sacco dry matter digestibility). The feed trait values were generally independent of the malt trait values. However, there were positive relationships between friability, hardness and protein, as well as a negative relationship between extract and husk. Extract also had a positive relationship with test weight but appeared to be independent from the feed traits. Test weight also showed little relationship to the feed traits. Heritability values ranged from low to high for almost all traits. This study details where both malt and cattle feed parameters have been compared and the results indicated that while malt and feed traits do not correlate directly, malt cultivars can exhibit excellent feed characteristics, equal to or better than feed cultivars. This data highlights the benefit of selecting for malt quality even if a breeding program would be interested at targeting specific feed quality