Effect of Barley Varieties on Nutritional Value

Barley varieties generally are classified as two-row or six-row, malting or feed type, covered or hull-less, and floury or waxy starch. Two-row varieties generally produce plumper kernels and higher test weights that are higher in starch than six-row varieties; however, average nutrient composition is generally only slightly different.

Two-row barley generally is more adapted to dry growing conditions. Several studies comparing two- and six-row barley varieties have not provided any clear-cut advantage for feeding.

Barley Varieties designated as malting types often are used as feed and discounted in price when the grain lot does not meet the criteria for malting grade (low protein, high test weight, high percent plump, low percent thin kernels and low deoxynivalenol [DON] level).

High protein content is desirable in feed varieties. Hull-less barley has lower fiber and higher protein and energy levels than covered barley.