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Barley forage


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Common names 

Barley [English]; orge, escourgeon [French]; cebada [Spanish]; cevada [Portuguese]; Almindelig Byg [Danish]; Gerst [Dutch]; Òj [Haitian Creole]; jelai [Indonesian]; orzo [Italian]; shayiri [Swahili]; sebada [Tagalog]; arpa [Turkish]; Đại mạch [Vietnamese]; ገብስ [Amharic]; شعير [Arabic]; যব [Bengali]; မုယော [Burmese]; 大麦 [Chinese]; Κριθάρι [Greek]; שעורה תרבותית [Hebrew]; जौ [Hindi]; オオムギ [Japanese]; ಬಾರ್ಲಿ [Kannada]; 보리 [Korean]; യവം [Malayalam]; جو [Persian]; ਜੌਂ [Punjabi]; Ячме́нь [Russian]; வாற்கோதுமை [Tamil]; బార్లీ [Telugu]; บาร์เลย์ [Thai]

  • Barley forage, whole crop barley forage, barley silage, whole crop barley silage, barley hay, barley straw

Hordeum distichon L., Hordeum hexastichon L.


Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a major cereal crop primarily grown for its grain, but it also yields valuable forage that can be grazed, cut for hay or silage while still green, or cut after grain harvest as straw (Duke, 1983Göhl, 1982). The barley plant is an annual, erect and tufted grass, up to 50 to 120 cm high (Ecocrop, 2011). Barley is a leafy species. The leaves are linear and lanceolate, up to 25 cm long, placed opposite their neighbours along the stem (Ecocrop, 2011Duke, 1983). Barley leaves are broader than in other cereals and the leave:stem ratio is high (0.88) (Hannaway, 2004Chermiti, 1997). There are thousands of cultivated barley landraces and hundreds of cultivars. Cultivars are classified according to several factors: number of rows of grains (2-row and 6-row barley), compactness of spikes, hull adherence (hulled or naked barley), presence or size of awns (awned, awnletted or awnless varieties), growth habit (winter or spring barley) and colour (black, purple or white kernels) (Cecarelli et al., 2006CFIA, 2005OECD, 2004).

The widespread use of barley forage for feeding purposes is relatively new. Barley can be a valuable forage during drought periods, or when the barley crop has suffered frost damage that has hindered grain crop (Winter, 2005). Until the late 1990s, forage barley varieties had rarely been selected for improved forage quality and variety selection was based solely upon yield and other agronomic characteristics (Surber et al., 2011). Whole plant silage is now an important feed for ruminants as well as for other species. For this silage winter and summer varieties are used, sometimes sown in combination with a fast-growing grass variety. Whole plant silage is high in fibre, low in protein and may be used in extensive cattle production (OECD, 2004). Two-row varieties and awnless varieties are said to be safer (see Potential constraints) and of higher nutritive quality as forage. When barley forage is directly grazed or cut early enough, it can still be harvested for grain without decreasing grain yield. Barley forage may also be used for bedding, for making hats or for making cellulose pulp (Duke, 1983). Barley straw ranks among the best quality cereal straws (Chriyaa et al., 1997): for more information about barley straw see also the Straws datasheet.


Barley is an ubiquitous cereal and can grow in a wide range of climates (UC SAREP, 2006). Barley forage is mostly used in North America, Europe and the Mediterranean area. Barley forage is better suited to cooler, drier areas than other small grain cereals. Barley is best adapted to rich, well-drained, loamy soils and should not be planted on poor, sandy or wet soils (Ditsch et al., 2005). It prefers a soil pH above 6. Barley can withstand moderate droughts and does well on alkaline and saline soils (UC SAREP, 2006Hannaway, 2004). It is less winter hardy than wheat or rye. Barley is sensitive to rust and disease: it should not be sown in milder climates or too early during autumn (Winter, 2005). It should not be sown under humid tropical climates (UC SAREP, 2006).

Forage management 

Barley forage can be sown as the sole crop or in mixture with a legume such as vetch, pea, berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum) or Persian clover (Trifolium resupinatum) (Eskandari et al., 2009Bingöl et al., 2007). Intercropping is effective for reducing diseases, suppressing weeds and capturing a greater share of available resources: intercropped barley-legumes have a higher total yield than barley or legume as a sole crop (Hauggaard-Nielsen et al., 2007). Intercropping barley with a legume improves the nutritive value by increasing the DM and protein content of the forage compared to the cereal crop alone (Eskandari et al., 2009).

Barley forage sown as sole crop may be managed in different ways:

  • Under low moisture conditions, winter barley should be sown early in autumn (early to mid-September) to become well established before winter and to provide higher yields. Good quality grazing can be obtained from early seeded barley (Ditsch et al., 2005).
  • However, under high moisture conditions, winter barley should be sown as late as possible (mid-autumn) so that rust cannot spoil the crop (Winter, 2005).
  • Early-planted and well-managed spring barley forage is a good rotation crop in a grain production system to provide livestock feed and limit weed populations (Flaherty, 2007).

Barley forage sown alone may yield 3 to 8 t DM/ha but stage of growth at cutting and environmental conditions have a significant effect on yield (McLellan, 2011Carr et al., 2003). In the case of spring barley, the sooner the seed is sown the higher the yield of forage (Flaherty, 2007). For best quality feed and good regrowth, potential crops should be cut or grazed at 30-40 cm height. After each cut the crop fertilizer should be added to ensure good quality regrowth. Cutting should be well prior to the development of awns which will reduce the palatability of the forage. Young awns are acceptable in hay. From an autumn plant 2-3 cuts or grazings are possible (Hannaway, 2004).

Barley pasture

Using barley forage prior to grain production may be a valuable way of managing barley; it may also avoid crop lodging and decrease foliage fungal diseases while feeding livestock (GRDC, 2011Lovegrove et al., 2008). If grazing occurs early enough in the growing period, barley grain production and grain quality are not hampered. The crop can usually be cut or grazed during a six-week period, until the first node appears on the crops. Beyond this point, grain yield is hindered (GRDC, 2011). Late heavy grazing, rather than continuous grazing, appeared to benefit forage yield, but it had deleterious effect on grain production (Lovegrove et al., 2008). Winter barley should not be grazed as close or as late in the fall as wheat or rye (Ditsch et al., 2005).

Barley hay

Swath grazing of barley forage or barley/legume is a way to increase the grazing season in northern areas (WBDC, 2002). Barley can be cut and dried to make hay. It is a valuable source of winter forage in various regions, especially in the USA. Barley hay can be an inexpensive available feed source (Llewellyn et al., 2000). It should be cut early (milky stage) to make hay. Barley haymaking is suitable in irrigated systems including alfalfa production as it breaks diseases and weed cycles (Cash et al., 2008). When barley forage is cut for hay at the milky stage, NO3-N levels are not higher than 0.14%, which is a safe level for livestock (Cash et al., 2008; Surber et al., 2003).


Because of its good carbohydrate content, barley is easy to ensile, and with a rapid fall in pH produces a good quality silage (Helm et al., 2002Aasen, 2000). Barley crop harvested at the soft-dough stage is suitable for silage (McLellan, 2011). However, when barley forage is intended for silage, the most important criteria is its moisture content, which must be between 64 and 72%. If the forage is allowed to get drier than this, it may result in difficulties in packing it tightly to ensure an anaerobic environment. Failure to do this can result in excessive heating and nutrient losses (Helm et al., 2002). It is advisable to short-chop the forage and to seal the silo as tight as possible in order to reduce air content to a minimum (Aasen, 2000).

Well made barley silage should be light green-yellow to green-brown in colour, it should have a lactic acid odour with no butyric acid off-flavour, and a pH ranging from 4.2 to 4.8 (Aasen, 2000).


Though it has less feed value than oat straw, barley straw is an inexpensive way to feed cattle. It can be offered as the sole roughage during winter provided it is adequately supplemented (Hamilton, 2010).

Environmental impact 

Saline soil reclamation

Barley is the most salt tolerant cereal crop and barley growth remains unchanged up to high levels of salinity (Lacolla et al., 2008). Barley is thus often used in soil reclamation as it dilutes and excludes salt. Six-row, smooth-awned barleys are more tolerant of salinity than other barley types (UC SAREP, 2006).

Soil improver and erosion control

With its strong root system that grows as deep as 1.8-2.1 m, barley helps preventing soil erosion. Moreover, while it provides feed and cover during winter, it can be ploughed in for green manure during spring, thus improving soil OM content (UC SAREP, 2006).


In California, barley is also used in vineyards as a shelter crop for young vine shoots because it lessens frost potential (UC SAREP, 2006).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Fresh forage and silage

The protein and NDF content of barley forage vary only slightly between flowering and the dough stage, decreasing from 12 to 9% DM for protein, 63 to 56% DM for NDF (INRA, 2007). The decrease in protein and NDF is mainly related to an increase in starch (up to 20% at the mid-dough stage; Kirchgessner et al., 1989). Higher starch and lower NDF contents have been reported in some whole crop silages (29 and 47% respectively in Ireland; Walsh et al., 2008). Harvesting at heading also allows increased starch at the expense of NDF (32 and 44% respectively). Barley forage tends to have lower contents of cell walls, ADF and lignin than other small grain forages (Ditsch et al., 2005). 


The protein and NDF content of untreated straws ranges from 2 to 6%, and 80 to 86%, respectively (McCartney et al., 2006; Haddad, 2000Abate et al., 2009Castrillo et al., 1995Madrid et al., 1996Madrid et al., 1997a). Values for hay are intermediate between those of the straw and the fresh forage (Chermiti, 1997).

Potential constraints 

Mouth irritation

Some barley varieties that are cut for hay or silage have rough or barbed awns that may damage the mouth of livestock (Todd et al., 2003).

Nitrate accumulation

Forage barley is prone to nitrate accumulation that can lead to nitrate toxicity in animals that can result in death. Values of NO3-N that exceed 0.226% are considered toxic to all types and classes of livestock. Barley forage was found to contain 0.23% NO3-N at the boot stage (Cash et al., 2002). Selecting new barley varieties based on low NO3-N potential is possible (Surber et al., 2011).



The OM digestibility of barley forage varies slightly according to the stage of maturity, and increases only from 61 to 65% between flowering and the dough stage (INRA, 2007). This corresponds both to a decrease in NDF digestibility and an increase in grain and starch content, which improves digestibility (Walsh et al., 2009). Comparable values are reported for silage: from 59% at the milk-dough stage (about 35% DM) (INRA, 2007) to 64-67% at 35-40% DM (Candlish et al., 1973). The OM digestibility of untreated straw averages 44-45% (Haddad, 2000; Madrid et al., 1997a; Phipps et al., 1990; Xandé, 1978; INRA, 2007). It can be slightly improved by treatment with ammonia: + 11 percentage points (INRA, 2007), urea (30-40 g urea/kg DM): + 6 to 8 points (Abate et al., 2009; Castrillo et al., 1995; Madrid et al., 1996), or NaOH (40 g/kg DM): + 14 percentage points (Phipps et al., 1990).


Dairy cows

Barley forage used for silage can be harvested at heading, milk stage, or dough stage (i.e. between 27 and 49% DM, 40 to 60% grain; Kirchgessner et al., 1989Wallsten et al., 2009). When harvested at late milk/early dough stage (35-40% DM), there is no advantage in adding acid (Candlish et al., 1973). The optimal harvest time is not critical because the quality of the forage decreases slowly with maturity, since DM intake and apparent digestibility tend to decrease when maturity increases, which impacts milk yield, milk protein and milk fat (Wallsten et al., 2009). At a similar stage (late-dough) for silage making, delaying the planting date (June vs. May) induces a higher in vitro NDF digestibility and protein content (Chow et al., 2008), but this does not affect intake and milk production in cows at mid to late lactation, whereas it tended to improve LW gain. Whole crop barley silage fed ad libitum as the sole feed is sufficient for dry or late lactating cows that consume less than 1.9% LW (Lund et al., 2006). Barley silage intake can be substantially increased to 2.5% of LW in dairy cows supplemented with concentrate at 1% LW in early or mid-lactation (Lund et al., 2006). Barley silage is comparable to pea or alfalfa silages for both intake and milk yield in dairy cows fed 50% forage diets in early lactation (Mustafa et al., 2000).

Beef cattle

Barley silage is fed and digested similarly to maize or wheat silage by beef cattle (Walsh et al., 2008). Whole crop barley silage can be used by beef calves or rams supplemented with grain. In beef cattle, 15-20% silage is required to prevent digestive diseases with barley-based diets (Koenig et al., 2003), or barley + DDGS diets (wheat dried distillers grains with solubles) (Li et al., 2011). Spraying a commercial xylanase and cellulose on barley silage may slightly improve average daily gain and feed efficiency in feedlot cattle fed high, 80%, barley silage diets (McAllister et al., 1999).


The ingestibility of barley hay (2.5% LW, i.e. 65 g/kg LW0.75 in dry non-lactating adult ewes) is higher than that of vetch-oat hay (Chermiti, 1997). Barley hay supplemented with less than 50% concentrate can be used by ewes from 3 weeks before to 120 days after lambing (Awawdeh, 2011).


Barley can be used as straw. Untreated barley straw has a poor ingestibility (1,3% LW in castrated sheep) and requires progressive adaptation, which can be speeded up by nitrogen supplementation (Xandé, 1978). It should be fed with another forage (Haddad, 2000Mir et al., 1988), grain (Ololade et al., 1975), or supplements. Supplementation of untreated straw with whey (Cetinkaya et al., 1997), urea and citrus by-products (Madrid et al., 1997b), or molasses (Gurdogan et al., 2000) was shown to increase intake, straw degradation and digestibility, weight gain and feed efficiency in goats (Madrid et al., 1997b; Cetinkaya et al., 1997) and sheep (Gurdogan et al., 2000).

Barley can be treated with urea (4-5% DM), ammonia (2-3% DM), and NaOH (4%) to improve intake, OM digestibility and performance. However, urea addition at 1% DM was poorly efficient (Haddad, 2000). Urea treatment was found more efficient than ammonia treatment (Kowalczyk, 1994). Urea-treated straw used alone was able to meet maintenance requirements for growing sheep, and allowed limited live-weight gain (Abate et al., 2009). Ammonia-treated straw was used for growing sheep at 1.9% LW without supplementation (Castrillo et al., 1995). It was also well ingested in lactating ewes (at 2.5% LW) when supplemented with concentrate (barley/citrus pulp mix) (Castrillo et al., 2004). Treatment of winter barley straw with NaOH greatly increased its digestibility, and improved forage intake and milk yield in dairy cows fed grass silage + barley straw diets (Phipps et al., 1990). In contrast with untreated straw, supplementation of urea-treated straw with alfalfa hay or vetch hay (Abate et al., 2009), or with dried lemon (Madrid et al., 1996), or the supplementation of urea + NaOH treated straw with citrus by-products (Madrid et al., 1998) did not improve the intake and digestibility of treated barley straw in sheep and goats, even slightly.


Pigs can be fed on forage when they are progressively introduced to it. Forages tend to provide more crude protein than cereal grains and may thus reduce feed costs provided they are well supplemented. Forages may be offered fresh, dried or ensiled. Barley can be grazed by pigs and is palatable and nutritious to them. However, it does not provide as much dry matter as rye forage (for instance) during autumn and winter and it cannot be grazed heavily. It has a lower nutritive value (lower protein) for pigs than winter wheat forage (Kephart et al., 2010).


Green forage

Winter or spring barley crops seem to be widely grazed by wild rabbits (Bell et al., 1998Dendy et al., 2004), which demonstrates that green barley plants are palatable for rabbits. This common observation was made while trying to feed rabbits with barley forage produced by hydroponics, i.e. barley grain germinated and grown for about 2 weeks (10-12 cm height) before being fed. This forage is well accepted by growing rabbits and by breeding does with their young and it is entirely consumed (Hardy, 1982; Kriaa et al., 2001). The nutritive value of barley forage dry matter, produced by hydroponics, is lower than that of a complete pelleted diet, which is most probably due to too low concentrations of digestible energy and protein (Morales et al., 2009). Nevertheless, barley forage produced in this way may represent up to 40% of the daily DM intake, without significantly depressing growth or reproductive performance, when offered ad libitum together with a limited quantity of a pelleted complete diet (Hardy, 1982; Kriaa et al., 2001). Feeding hydroponically produced forage to suckling rabbits seems to stimulate earlier dry matter consumption (Hardy, 1982). However, it must be noted that the successful use of hydroponically produced barley by French rabbit farmers in the 1980-1990s was stopped because of the development in the germination equipment of uncontrollable moulds producing mycotoxins (Lebas, 1990, unpublished data).

Dehydrated whole plant

Dehydrated whole plant barley, cut at the waxy stage and containing about 50% NDF with a moderate level of lignin (6.3-7.6% DM), could be a source of fibre for growing rabbits. Included at up to 28-35% in a balanced diet, this forage resulted in growth performance similar to that of the control diet (Auxilia et al., 1977Auxilia et al., 1978Grandi et al., 1986). The digestible energy content was high for a forage, about 8.4 to 10.7 MJ/kg DM, but the protein content was very low (6 to 8% DM) with a moderate nitrogen digestibility coefficient of 62 to 66% (Auxilia et al., 1978; Polidori et al., 1984).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 25.0 7.5 15.0 41.5 27  
Crude protein % DM 11.0 3.7 5.9 19.5 71  
Crude fibre % DM 28.1 4.0 19.0 35.4 61  
NDF % DM 57.6 6.3 41.8 62.3 17 *
ADF % DM 32.7 4.8 22.1 37.9 18 *
Lignin % DM 2.4   1.8 3.0 2  
Ether extract % DM 3.8 1.4 2.3 7.2 13  
Ash % DM 11.5 2.2 8.2 18.4 63  
Starch (enzymatic) % DM 8.0 7.0 0.1 17.4 6  
Water-soluble carbohydrates % DM 7.8 3.6 4.4 12.0 6  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.3         *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 4.9 2.3 2.1 12.3 47  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.7 0.7 0.7 3.1 47  
Potassium g/kg DM 14.0 6.4 6.0 32.8 34  
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.4 0.8 1.4 4.1 34  
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Arginine % protein 5.7       1  
Cystine % protein 1.7       1  
Glycine % protein 5.7       1  
Histidine % protein 2.5       1  
Isoleucine % protein 4.9       1  
Leucine % protein 9.1       1  
Lysine % protein 6.6       1  
Methionine % protein 1.8       1  
Phenylalanine % protein 5.9       1  
Threonine % protein 5.2       1  
Tyrosine % protein 3.9       1  
Valine % protein 6.4       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 69.1 7.5 61.2 81.3 18 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 66.1         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.4         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 9.2         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 66.2 7.7 52.4 78.5 18  

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Ait Amar, 2005; Alibes et al., 1990; Carr et al., 2003; Chow et al., 2008; CIRAD, 1991; Demarquilly, 1970; Fauconneau et al., 1965; FUSAGx/CRAW, 2009; IAV, 2009; McCartney et al., 1994; Morales et al., 2009; Pace et al., 1984; Sen, 1938; Tisserand et al., 1989; Van Wyk et al., 1951

Last updated on 15/08/2013 18:17:29

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 36.3 4.2 26.6 42.9 19  
Crude protein % DM 10.2 1.9 6.6 12.4 17  
Crude fibre % DM 33.5   32.1 34.9 2  
NDF % DM 47.6 5.3 38.0 56.0 14  
ADF % DM 29.6 3.3 23.4 35.5 16  
Lignin % DM 4.4 1.8 2.5 7.1 5  
Ether extract % DM 2.3 0.4 1.7 3.1 7  
Ash % DM 9.3 3.6 4.7 17.3 18  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 15.6 9.5 0.4 25.3 7  
Water-soluble carbohydrates % DM 3.5       1  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.7 0.7 17.1 18.9 6 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 2.7   1.9 3.4 2  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.2   1.2 3.2 2  
Potassium g/kg DM 26.7       1  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.4       1  
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.1       1  
Manganese mg/kg DM 35       1  
Zinc mg/kg DM 30       1  
Copper mg/kg DM 6       1  
Iron mg/kg DM 825       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 63.9   63.9 71.3 2 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 61.1         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.8         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.7         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 69.5 2.3 67.1 71.6 3  
a (N) % 69.2       1  
b (N) % 18.5       1  
c (N) h-1 0.116       1  
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 83         *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 81         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2011; Candlish et al., 1973; Chow et al., 2008; Gibb et al., 2004; IAV, 2009; Khorasani et al., 1993; Kirchgessner et al., 1989; Koenig et al., 2003; Lund et al., 2006; Manninen et al., 2005; McAllister et al., 1999; McCartney et al., 1994; Mustafa et al., 2000; Robinson, 1996; Tatl et al., 2001; Wallsten et al., 2009

Last updated on 15/08/2013 18:14:45

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 90.9 2.5 85.4 95.0 32  
Crude protein % DM 3.8 1.0 1.9 6.0 52  
Crude fibre % DM 40.5 4.1 32.9 46.7 27  
NDF % DM 80.5 4.8 69.7 89.1 36  
ADF % DM 48.3 4.9 38.7 57.9 35  
Lignin % DM 6.5 1.5 4.1 9.0 25  
Ether extract % DM 1.4 0.7 0.6 3.8 16  
Ash % DM 7.5 2.9 3.5 17.6 52  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.2 0.6 17.5 18.6 3 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 4.6 1.5 3.0 8.2 10  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.0 0.7 0.2 2.3 10  
Potassium g/kg DM 14.4 5.1 8.2 20.6 4  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.9 0.4 0.5 1.6 6  
Magnesium g/kg DM 1.2 0.3 0.7 1.4 5  
Manganese mg/kg DM 28 10 17 37 3  
Zinc mg/kg DM 15 5 11 21 4  
Copper mg/kg DM 10 13 3 30 4  
Iron mg/kg DM 177 55 124 250 4  
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 3.6       1  
Tannins, condensed (eq. catechin) g/kg DM 0.2       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 47.5 2.0 43.0 50.2 19 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 44.1         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.0         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 6.5         *
ME ruminants (gas production) MJ/kg DM 6.0       1  
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 22.8 22.3 0.0 63.1 8  
a (N) % 30.3       1  
b (N) % 26.5       1  
c (N) h-1 0.084       1  
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 48         *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 46         *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 13.9         *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 2.5         *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 2.2         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 1.2         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Abate et al., 2009; Abbeddou et al., 2011; Abidin et al., 1981; AFZ, 2011; Agbagla et al., 1993; Ahn JongHo et al., 1997; Alawa et al., 1986; Alawa et al., 1988; Alibes et al., 1990; Blümmel et al., 1993; Bochi-Brum et al., 1999; Capper et al., 1989; Chehma et al., 2001; Chermiti, 1997; CIRAD, 1991; Djouvinov et al., 1998; Dryden et al., 1983; Economides, 1998; Friesecke, 1970; Grimit, 1984; Guedas et al., 1973; Haddad, 2000; Hadjigeorgiou et al., 2001; Hadjipanayiotou, 1984; IAV, 2009; Israelsen et al., 1978; Kerckhove et al., 2011; Lopez et al., 2005; Madrid et al., 1997; Martin-Orue et al., 2000; McCann, 1985; McCartney et al., 2006; Miraglia et al., 1985; Nsahlai et al., 1996; O'Shea et al., 1986; Paduano et al., 1995; Rogerson, 1956; Sehu et al., 1998; Singh et al., 2011; Tisserand et al., 1989; Turgut et al., 2004; Wheeler et al., 1979; Wilkinson et al., 1978

Last updated on 26/11/2015 17:04:19

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 84.9 6.3 76.3 90.6 6  
Crude protein % DM 8.7 3.2 3.9 13.5 8  
Crude fibre % DM 27.6 7.4 11.7 33.9 7  
NDF % DM 53.1 14.0 31.1 63.4 5  
ADF % DM 32.3 8.5 13.6 42.2 8  
Lignin % DM 2.3   1.4 3.2 2  
Ether extract % DM 2.3       1  
Ash % DM 8.4 2.4 5.1 12.6 7  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.0         *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 2.1   0.7 3.6 2  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.8   2.4 3.2 2  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 66.7 6.1 54.2 68.4 4 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 63.1         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.4         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 9.3         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 55.5   43.0 68.0 2  

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Alibes et al., 1990; Chermiti, 1997; CIRAD, 2008; FUSAGx/CRAW, 2009; Taghizadeh et al., 2005

Last updated on 15/08/2013 18:30:11

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Nozière P., Lebas F., 2015. Barley forage. Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/432 Last updated on October 19, 2015, 16:20

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)