The Crop Development Centre (CDC) at the University of Saskatchewan recently announced that a low-phytate, hulless barley variety called CDC Lophy-I is now available as a publically released variety in Canada. Seed growers with pedigreed seed are free to multiply and market the seed.

Brian Rossnagel, an oat and barley plant breeder from the CDC says the new barley makes phosphorus more available to animals, particularly hogs, thus reducing the amount of undigested phosphorus excreted in manure. “We saw this as an opportunity to provide hog producers right across the country with a good variety that would help. It won’t solve the whole problem if there is one, but it will help in making sure there’s as little phosphorus going out in the effluent as possible,” he says. Rossnagel explains that the barley also can help make minerals such as calcium and iron more available to hogs. Phytate in barley and other cereal grains tends to tie up calcium and iron, thus making them less available to the animals. Rossnagel is encouraging Canadian pork producers to let seed growers and suppliers know if they are interested in obtaining the low-phytate barley so sufficient seed supplies can be produced to meet demand.

Read more about manure management in Canada online at Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative.