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stevenson 09-09-2013 06:54 PM

barley for pasture/ forage
I just wondered if anyone has used barley for pasture grass/ forage? I have heard of oats planted for oat grass and it used as a hay in the 3 way grain hays.
I was given some organic barley seed so I am going to try it, just wondered if anyone has used it. Note.. it is not being fed as grain. So please no grain comments ..

loosie 09-12-2013 05:32 AM

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No grain comments, meaning that you're going to ensure the grass is never allowed to seed? That's one good plus. Barley, oat & rye grasses are some of the highest NSC content, so I personally wouldn't want to encourage any more of that sort of thing in the pasture, but would be seeding with low NSC varieties, such as many native, 'unimproved' varieties.

stevenson 09-12-2013 02:25 PM

not going to seed. going to be grazed for winter feed. this is organic barley. dont know what variety . We plan to overseed the pastures, plant one small area with just the barley, may put my sheep out also. last year we tried wheat and oat , but did not get rain we needed it , the Ag water was off for repairs, and the forecast said we should get rain, but of course not.
Where did you find the info on the barley ? I have found info for the 'grains' and for it done as dry forage, but nothing for the 'grass' . Thanks..

deserthorsewoman 09-12-2013 02:49 PM

The forage hay we know here in Cali is indeed very high in sugars, if harvested properly( green, seedheads present and little grain falling out, 20-22% NSC, compared to 10-12% for grasshay an 9-11 for alfalfa.
I do think, however, if you graze it before it makes seedheads, it should be alright.

stevenson 09-12-2013 03:02 PM

DHW.. thanks.. i have looked all over for the info but only found it for the grain and hay.
The NSC may be lower here as the ground nutrients are different, and i dont plan on fertilizing it, I only fertilize once a year. I worry more over to high of protein (over 17% and you have a liver burning feed) and TDN. IT does make a good Hay, but I have no way to cut , and bale it.

deserthorsewoman 09-12-2013 03:13 PM

I would probably ration the grazing, just to be on the safer side.
Have you checked Katy Watts | She might have info there.

stevenson 09-12-2013 03:14 PM

DHW.. thanks I will check that out. I had a lot of sites bookmarked, but when i changed programs I lost a lot of them.

deserthorsewoman 09-12-2013 03:25 PM

Just got another idea where to find an analysis;-)
You've probably seen on CL, somebody is advertising to grow your own fodder, it's done hydroponic, and they use barley. They might have an analysis of the green barley.

stevenson 09-12-2013 03:52 PM

I read that safer grasses, and also came across another site. According to both those sites, my horses should all be foundered beyond use, my old horse that had cushings, got the pregolide , lived on oat and alfalfa hay, should have been diabitic, foundered etc..
One article says dont feed grass hay, to much sugar. All the studies refer to cool nights ,freezes, etc.. I dont think alot of this applies to the area i am in. Cool night here in summer is 80. A freeze maybe in a cold winter, sure did not get any last winter. i let my pasture get really tall before I put the horses out, knee high, and grass that does seed or flower, gets lower sugars. I used to like to get the alfalfa after the blooms fell, never had to worry about to rich of feed, and have always fed oat hay when I could find good hay, it has to dough first and have a good seed head. I am going with my plan on overseeding with it , using composted horse poo as the top cover and not using fertilizer. thanks..for the help

deserthorsewoman 09-12-2013 04:41 PM

I hear you;-)
I was hoping there would be an analysis for the barley as green feed. I guess not:-)
I keep thinking about all that constantly, trust me. I fed grasshay, alfalfa pellets and, shock, grain for decades to all my horses, they were all round, but I never had one founder. Never. I'm beginning to think it's the processed feed which is to blame. Just like packaged and processed food for people is to blame for diabetes. Don't know.....

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