USDA researchers have developed the first commercial-quality barley that provides a greater proportion of its phosphorus in a bioavailable form; that is, more readily absorbed and used. The new variety is named Herald. Compared to other top-yielding feed barleys like Baronesse and Colter, Herald has about 10 percent less total phosphorus, but more than three times as much phosphorus is in the bioavailable form.

Bioavailable phosphorus is less likely to end up in manure and be carried away by runoff from pastures and fields into nearby streams, rivers and lakes or seep into underground water supplies.