Feed or 'general purpose' barley is used as feed for livestock due to its hard high starch and protein content.
In the province, as much as 80 per cent of all barley grown is used as feed for cattle, dairy cows, poultry and hogs for both domestics and international customers. Alberta's world renowned beef industry can be attributed to the high-quality barley they are fed, resulting in beef that is finely textured and delicately marbled with white fat.
Due to the affordability of our feed barley and trade agreements reducing trade barriers, key international feed markets include Japan, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, partnered with the recent emergence of the Chinese market.
Barley is considered ideal feed for livestock for several reasons:
- Genetic diversity performs well in most of the province's growing conditions
- Excellent source of energy
- Contains more protein than corn
- Higher level of starch digestion than corn
- Can be used for the total grain portion for beef cattle and dairy cattle
Alberta Barley recognizes that livestock feeders need higher-yielding, more digestible feed barley for Canada's meat sector to remain competitive. To learn more, please visit our barley research projects.