Sheep-barley grazing trialsJune 12, 2012 at 7:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Barley (grain as well as biomass) is a major source of livestock feed throughout West Asia and North Africa. ICARDA scientists have identified barley varieties for green grazing, with good palatability to livestock and high nutritional value. A 1.8 hectare grazing trial is testing twelve diverse genotypes: traditional landraces, improved drought-tolerant varieties and high-yielding malting types. Each variety was grazed by Awassi sheep (the most common breed in the region) at two different stages: the early growth stage, just before tillering, to allow regrowth and harvest of barley grain and straw; and at the heading stage for green barley grazing only.
Observations on varietal preferences of sheep will be correlated with laboratory analysis on the nutritional value of each variety. The experiment also evaluates the effect of grazing on straw and stubble quality. The results will help identify the best dual-purpose varieties, and also evaluate the potential for genetic enhancement of yield and/or nutritional value of the most palatable varieties.
For more information contact Dr Jane Wamatu, animal nutritionist, email J.Wamatu@cgiar.org