Aside from cereals and beer, do you know that barley has a lot of other uses? Yes, you might be surprised by this fact; however, barley is becoming more and more popular outside the category of food for human consumption. Now, with barley straw, you will find out how other species benefit from the humans' usual breakfast and drinking buddy.
There are actually special characteristics of barley straw which have inspired researchers to conduct studies on its efficacy. Some of the studies have already proven the worth of barley straws. Some uses of barley straws include:
- For algae control. It has been found that decomposing barley straw has the capability to decrease the population of some algae types in some situations. The barley straw is constructed into hay bales; when the barley straw in the bales decomposes, a certain kind of chemical is released which can help in algae removal. This makes the water cleaner and clearer. This process is ideally used for ponds as it has no harmful effects to fish. Barley ponds is the usual term for ponds which use bales. Aside from bales, barley ponds can result from the use of barley extract and pellets made for the same purpose. Barley extract and pellets work in a similar way as the barley bales and reduce the unsightly bales of straw cluttering the ponds.
- For bio-beds. Barley straw is used to effectively prevent soil and groundwater contamination. A bio-bed is a rectangular hole excavated in the ground which is filled with a mixture of soil and barley straw. Bio-beds are used in areas where pesticides need to be disposed. With microbiological activity inside the bio-beds, the chemicals present in the pesticides are destroyed. This helps prevent soil and groundwater contamination.
- For odor control. This use is specifically directed to animal wastes, especially in animal production. When barley straw is allowed to cover the animal waste lagoons in farms, the foul odor is significantly reduced. This odor control is effective as long as the straws are floating and no cracks are visible in the surface.
- For cow feed. Most commonly known as barley feed, barley straw is one good alternative for feeding cows. Barley feed has a very high energy content.
Due to these uses of barley straw, more and more studies are being conducted to discover any other hidden capabilities of this product. Each study is dedicated toward helping the world to use the barley straw as a natural alternative to typical, expensive ways of dealing with different problems.
Indeed, barley is no longer limited to human consumption nowadays. From the barley seed to the straw, people can get a lot of benefits. Truly, barley straw is one cheap solution for a lot of human problems.