Our objective was to determine the differences in the rate and extent of dry matter digestion between barley subjected to differing agronomic variables. Two malting barley varieties, Copeland and Metcalfe were seeded at rates of 200 and 400 plants/
. Each of these varieties received nitrogen fertilizer at rates of 0, 30, 60 and 120 kg/ha, resulting in a total of 20 different barley grain samples. Samples were ground through a 6mm screen and approximately 3 g of each weighed into 50
Dacron bags and sealed. The bags were incubated in three ruminally cannulated Holstein cattle for periods of 0, 3, 6 and 24 h. Using the data obtained from these incubations, rates of digestion were able to be predicted. The soluble fraction ranged from 0.229-0.327, the slowly degradable fraction ranged from 0.461-0.656, and the undegradable fraction ranged from 0.038-0.299. The rates of digestion ranged from 0.127-0.165
and the effective degradability ranged from 0.527-0.757. At the Canora location, the Copeland samples which received 120 kg/ha of nitrogen fertilizer had a significantly lower (p = 0.013) soluble fraction than the rest of the samples at that location. A significant interaction (p = 0.009) was seen between the seeding rate and nitrogen fertilizer application with samples from the Canora location, as well as significant differences (p = 0.029) between nitrogen application rates in samples from the Indian head location. The rate of digestion of samples from the Indian head location differed (p = 0.020) between the two seeding rates, with samples seeded at 200 seed/
having a slightly higher rate of degradation. Differences in the effective degradability were seen between the different nitrogen application rates with samples from both the Canora and Indian head locations, as well as an (p = 0.004) interaction between the seeding rate and nitrogen fertilizer application rate. Although there was not a clear correlation between the different variables, both nitrogen application and seeding rate did have a significant effect on the rates and extent of digestion across each of the four locations.