Alberta Barley

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A comparison of the use of Alberta barley versus U.S. corn in the production of Japanese beef cattle

Project lead:
Dr. Tim McAllister
Principal Research Scientist, Ruminant Nutrition and Microbiology
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Lethbridge Research Centre

Timeline: November 2013 – March 2015


  • Alberta Barley
  • Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine

Alberta Barley funding: $75,000

Barley is a major grain in the beef cattle diet in Alberta, but not in Japan. This project aims to investigate the effects of replacing 25 per cent of the corn in the Japanese beef cattle diet with Canadian barley in terms of growth performance and meat quality. The project includes a beef feeding trial on a Japanese farm and studies on carcass and meat quality, as well as a taste panel assessment at a local commercial slaughterhouse.

Benefits for farmers:
Japan is an important market for Canadian barley. This project is expected to provide useful information to Japanese beef producers on replacing corn with barley in cattle diets, which could further increase Alberta barley exports to the Japanese market.