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Why You Should Consider Incorporating Barley In Your TMR

A great abundance

Barley is a crop that matures quickly. It takes up roots in cool soil during the cold seasons, reaching maturity in 58 to 65 days. Because of this, barley can be planted again to produce a larger yield. In Australia alone, barley production was at its second highest on record in 2021, with 12.7 million tonnes being produced according to Australian Crop Forecasters. This abundance makes it a perfect supplement to your TMR. 

Barley and its benefits

When choosing barley it is important to know the difference between whole barley and dry barley. When barley is fed whole it is harder to digest, with a digestibility of 52.5%. However, when the barley is dry-rolled this rises up to 85.2%. This is because, during rolling, the hard shell of the oats is crushed and creates a consistency more favourable for the rumin. 

You should also consider tempering the barley prior to this rolling process. Tempering is when the barley is placed in water to increase the moisture content of the barley. The advantage of this is that when the barley is dry-rolled, it results in a smoother product. This makes the barley easier to digest, with 11.3% less energy required from the cow.  Another reason for this is that the starch in the barley is broken down and is more digestible.

Benefits for your cattle

Good for gestating cows and lactating cows

One particular benefit of barley is that it is a great replacement for oats when feeding gestating and lactating cows. Replacing barley with oats results in a linear increase in the concentration of dietary crude fats that a cow can intake. This is noted in research where researchers recorded an increase in milk yield following the substitution of oats with dry rolled barley. Another benefit is it is a great source of protein and energy. 

A good alternative for yearling cows

Another great use for barley is in the feeding of yearling cows. When supplemented with barley, the yearlings need less feed to reach the same energy intake as when eating oats. Furthermore, they also report higher daily gains than their oat feed counterpart. 

Beef cattle

For beef cattle, barley is a great addition to TMR, providing benefits in the digestion process that oats don’t. This is related to the energy content in barley. This energy is used in the rumen to create a healthy population of bacteria for forage digestion. Barley is also a source of nitrogen, which is also vital in creating a healthy mix of bacteria in the Rumen.

No effect on milk production

FA worry to farmers may be that despite the positive effect on the lactating cow’s health, there would be a negative effect on the milk produced. However, this is not the case. Milk production in cows feed TMR with barley is shown to be similar in volume to milk produced by cows feed other TMR ingredients.

Positive environmental impact

Barley is also a good substitute in TMR when considering the environmental benefits. Oats in TMR result in a large amount of methane being released into the environment, due to the high amount of CH4 produced from the cows. When these cows are fed a diet including barley, however, the amount of CH4 used drops from 2 to 12%. The result of this is that a lower amount of methane is released into the environment. 

Why you should use a reliable mixer

If you are thinking of using barley in your TMR, then you will need a mixer that can properly mix the barley. Whilst barley can be used in both wet and dry mixes, wet mixes result in a lower loss of materials. This is because of the nature of TMR, as high forage diets increase the passage rate of food through the intestinal tract and decrease the time spent digesting the food. The moist nature of TMR means that the Barley can be absorbed easier. You should also include ionophore and forage in your TMR to get optimal results. These need to be mixed properly so rumen function is stabilised and the gain and feed efficiency are boosted. This is where AusMix’s range of vertical mixers comes in handy.

Ausmix Feed Mixers

Built for the Australian climate, AusMix mixers are filled with features to make sure you get the most out of your forage with parts handpicked for their reliability. If you are interested in finding out more about Ausmix Single Screw and Twin Screw mixers, contact our friendly staff at (02) 8880 7873 or send us an email at Sales@farmtech.com.au.

Feed Mixer Range

AusMix TMR Feed mixers are manufactured in Australia. 

Built Heavy duty in Australia to handle the harshest Australian conditions.

Our Mixers are loved in dairies and feedlots across Australia.



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