Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Assessment of Cultivar and Environmental Effects on Hulless Barley End-use Quality.

Carl Griffey1, Wynse Brooks2, Wade Thomason3, Kevin Hicks4, Rolando Flores4, Frank Taylor4, Andy McAloon4, Robert Moreau4, David Johnston4, and Gerard Senske4. (1) 424 Smyth Hall, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech University, Department of Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0404, (2) Dept. Crop & Soil Environ. Sci., 330 Smyth Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0404, (3) Dep. Crop & Soil Environ. Sci., 330 Smyth Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0404, (4) USDA-ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 E. Mermaid Lane,, Wyndmoor, PA 19038

Producers on the U.S. East Coast critically need new markets for grains that increase farm income.  The ethanol market offers this opportunity to grain growers in corn surplus areas, but in the corn deficit Mid-Atlantic, barley is a more viable ethanol feedstock. Because hulless barley has high digestible energy due to elevated starch and reduced fiber content, it would appear to be more ideally suited than hulled barley for ethanol production.  Hulless barley varieties also show increased protein levels over those normally found in traditional barley.  Preliminary studies conducted at the USDA-ARS Eastern Regional Research Center have demonstrated that ‘Doyce’ hulless barley provided 17% higher yields of ethanol than traditional hulled barley and the DDGS produced from Doyce contained 29.9% protein compared to 22.6% for hulled barley.  Impediments to an economically viable hulless barley to ethanol process still exist.  One issue is the effect environment has on end-use characteristics.  In this study, the impact of growing environment and cultivar on hulless barley fiber, starch, protein, and beta glucan content was evaluated at locations in Virginia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.  Grain protein for Doyce ranged from 11.84 to 7.30 percent across sites and was inversely related to starch level.  Beta-glucan content was more constant and ranged from 4.05 to 4.98 percent across sites.  In Virginia, 51 hulless barley lines were screened across multiple years and locations.  Hulless barley varieties having a combination of the desirable chemical and nutritional components of traditional hulled barley and maize, which include lower concentrations of fiber, b-glucan and phytic acid, and higher starch and protein content and metabolizable energy over environment were identified.

Handout (.pdf format, 250.0 kb)