Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dried Distiller's Grains Can Help Produce More Beef

Date:
January 9, 2007
Source:
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications
Summary:
Supplemental feeding of dried distiller's grains to cattle can help produce more beef in grazing programs, a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher said. After a summer and fall feeding study done with both heifers and steers, Dr. Jim MacDonald, Experiment Station beef nutritionist, said he believes this by-product of ethanol production will be useful in more than just feedlot or dairy operations.

Calves gather around a feed trough to eat the distiller's grains being fed during a fall trial by Dr. Jim MacDonald. (Texas Agricultural Experiment Station photo by Dr. Jim MacDonald)

Supplemental feeding of dried distiller's grains to cattle can help produce more beef in grazing programs, a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher said.

Related Articles


After a summer and fall feeding study done with both heifers and steers, Dr. Jim MacDonald, Experiment Station beef nutritionist, said he believes this by-product of ethanol production will be useful in more than just feedlot or dairy operations.

In the next few years, an additional 200 to 600 million gallons of ethanol are expected to be produced in the High Plains, MacDonald said. Production will utilize up to 214 million bushels of corn or sorghum and result in 1.71 million tons of distiller's grains.

"A majority will likely be utilized by feedyards and dairies, but due to the sheer increase in availability, there should be opportunities for cow/calf and stocker operations to use it as well," he said.

The most promising opportunity may be in the situation where lightweight calves are held for a couple of months before they go onto wheat, MacDonald said.

The summer grazing study using heifers averaging 600 pounds compared feeding 3 pounds of dried distiller's grain per head per day, or approximately 0.5 percent of the animal's body weight, to no supplement, MacDonald said.

Results showed an improvement in gain of a quarter of a pound per head per day over the control calves, he said.

In the fall dormant range study, steers weighing approximately 400 pounds were compared at unsupplemented, 1-pound, 2-pound and 3-pound per head per day rates, MacDonald said.

Gain improved from just over one-half pound per head per day at the 1-pound rate to 1.75 pound per head per day at the highest level of supplementation, he said.

"However, the effect was quadratic in that the more you supplemented, the incremental gain was lower," MacDonald said. "In other words, at the 1-pound rate, the efficiency of gain was about 50 percent, where at the highest rate, it was 40 percent."

During the summer trial, the efficiency was only about 10 percent, he said, because both sets of animals were eating well on grass and the supplementation did not make as big a difference..

"So supplementation is more efficient on dormant range, as you would expect," MacDonald said.

The economics of supplementing with distiller's grains will depend on the cost of the product compared to the value of gain, he said.

MacDonald paid $118 per ton for the distiller's grains, which equated to a $12.50 per head investment for $18.80 per head in return over the 63 days the heifers were fed.

As corn prices have risen over the past month or so, so has that of distiller's grain, he said. The same scenario now would have the producer paying $175 per ton, which would result in a $18.96 per head investment for a $16.20 per head return.

"Producers need to run the economics in their situation to see if it is a good fit," he said.

The 56-day fall trial, using the $175 per ton rate for the distiller's grains, resulted in at $16.33 per head investment at the highest level of supplementation, MacDonald said. That investment was worth $68.25 per head.

"The economics would say in the fall or winter scenario, producers will want to supplement at as high levels as possible," he said.

"And even though this research is conducted with stocker calves, I think there is opportunity for cow/calf producers to utilize the distiller's grains as well," MacDonald said. "The supplemental fat has shown to improve reproduction, as well as providing energy to maintain or improve body condition score."

However, potential dangers exist if animals are fed at extreme rates due to fat and sulfur content, he said. Excessive fat can reduce forage digestibility. Also, sulfur can tie up minerals such as copper, creating a deficiency. Excessive sulfur may cause polioencephalomalacia, also known as "brainers."

Producers who use distiller's grains need to be cognizant of all sulfur sources, including water, MacDonald said. If a producer is feeding distiller's grains high in sulfur and also have sulfur in their water, it could be enough to cause trouble.

The supplementation trials were only the first step in MacDonald's study, he said.

Comparisons of distiller's grains to more traditional supplementation and following the calves onto wheat pasture need to done, he said.

"I'm very much enthused about using distiller's grains to produce more beef on a fixed-land base," he said. "The caveat will be to see what previous supplementation does to subsequent wheat grazing gains. We'll have some data on that in the spring."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications. "Dried Distiller's Grains Can Help Produce More Beef." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070104144814.htm>.
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications. (2007, January 9). Dried Distiller's Grains Can Help Produce More Beef. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070104144814.htm
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications. "Dried Distiller's Grains Can Help Produce More Beef." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070104144814.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins