Sign up for the
Weekly Harvest Newsletter!

Published every Wednesday, the Weekly Harvest e-newsletter is a free Web digest of sustainable agriculture news, resources, events and funding opportunities gleaned from the Internet. See past issues of the Weekly Harvest.
Sign up here

Sign up for the Weekly Harvest Newsletter

What Is Sustainable Agriculture?

Master Publication List

Search Our Databases

Urban Agriculture

Energy Alternatives

Beginning Farmer

Field Crops

Horticultural Crops

Livestock & Pasture

Local Food Systems

Food Safety

Marketing, Business & Risk Management

Organic Farming

Pest Management

Soils & Compost

Water Management

Ecological Fisheries and Ocean Farming

Other Resources

Sign Up for The Dirt E-News

Home Page

Contribute to NCAT


Newsletter sign up button

· Privacy Policy · Newsletter Archives

RSS Icon XML Feeds

RSS 2.0: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunities Atom: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunities


NCAT strives to make our information available to everyone who needs it. If you are a limited-access or low-income farmer and find that one of our publications is just not in your budget, please call 800-346-9140.


How are we doing?


Home  > Question of the Week

Question of the Week

Permalink Is it beneficial to feed sprouted grain to dairy cattle?

Answer: Grain that has sprouted (if free of mold and other microorganisms) can be fed to cattle with no negative consequence. But in terms of delivering energy and nutrients to livestock, it is generally not advantageous to sprout grains before feeding. Generally, the nutritional quality of the grain is not improved by sprouting them. Germination of the seed utilizes starch (stored energy) that would have otherwise been available to the animal. Since the germinating seed uses up starch, the remaining nutrients (protein, vitamins, and minerals) become more concentrated in the sprouted grain. However, the total amount of these nutrients is not actually higher.

Sprouting can increase the amount of carotene (vitamin A precursor) in grains. Before the development of commercial vitamin supplements, sprouted grains were used as a source of essential vitamins, particularly for poultry during winter months. However, the amount of sprouted grains you would need in order to affect the vitamin A status of your dairy cows is likely impractical, particularly if those animals already have access to pasture or high-quality forage.

You can find much more information on livestock nutrition in the Livestock and Pasture section of the ATTRA website, available at



« I’d like to sell rhubarb to a local bakery. How do I scale up my operation? :: Can plants grown in hydroponic systems be certified organic? »


No Comments for this post yet...

Question of the Week Archives