October 6, 2010

New manual covers feeding distillers grains to cattle on forage

The Nebraska Corn Board and University of Nebraska have released their latest corn co-products manual, this one featuring research into feeding co-products like distillers grains to cattle on forage.
Research shows forage fed cattle often perform better when corn products like distillers grains are made available, especially during the winter months.

Feeding Corn Milling Co-Products to Forage Fed Cattle” is a 24-page publication that is designed to assist cattle producers in assessing the opportunity of feeding corn co-products produced by ethanol plants and other milling processes.

“Beef calves from weaning until going into a feedlot, beef cows and developing heifers are often on pasture or fed a forage-based diet,” Kelly Brunkhorst, director of research for the Nebraska Corn Board, said in a news release. “Research shows feed ingredients like distillers grains or gluten feed provide a boost in protein and energy that benefit cattle in these feeding situations.”

Authors for the publication include Aaron Stalker, Rick Rasby, Galen Erickson, Crystal Buckner and Terry Klopfenstein of the University of Nebraska. Much of the research cited in the manual was conducted in Nebraska by the authors and funded in part by the Nebraska corn checkoff.

Stalker said the manual explains corn processing methods and the resulting products like distillers grains and gluten feed and then covers what is known about feeding those products to cattle on forage-based diets. “The ethanol industry in Nebraska produces an excellent supply of distillers grains, and research demonstrates distinct benefits of offering it to cattle on forage,” he said. “In many cases, distillers grains or other corn co-products provide an opportunity for cattle producers to improve both livestock performance and economics.”

In addition to an analysis of the processing feeding methods, “Feeding Corn Milling Co-Products to Forage Fed Cattle” includes a short reference guide on storing corn co-products.

“This publication is designed to help cattle producers become better informed about different opportunities to feed distillers grains and other corn co-products,” Stalker said. “While livestock nutritionists and other cattle feeding experts will find the manual helpful, it was written specifically with producers in mind. They will be able to take the information in the report and directly apply it on the ranch.”

Besides this latest manual in a series of publications geared towards assisting livestock producers in feeding distillers grains, the Nebraska Corn Board published “Utilization of Corn Co-Products in the Dairy Industry” and “Storage of Wet Corn Co-Products” in 2008, while a third edition of “Utilization of Corn Co-Products in the Beef Industry” will be coming out yet this year. It will include significant additions since it was last published in August 2007.

All the manuals are available here.

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