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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Feeding High Moisture Corn Instead of Dry Rolled Corn Reduces Odor Production in Finishing Beef Cattle Manure Without Sacrificing Performance

item Archibeque, Shawn
item Freetly, Harvey
item Miller, Daniel
item Ferrell, Calvin

Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 22, 2004
Publication Date: January 6, 2005
Citation: Archibeque, S.L., Freetly, H.C., Miller, D.N., Ferrell, C.L. 2005. Feeding high moisture corn instead of dry rolled corn reduces odor production in finishing beef cattle manure without sacrificing performance. In: Proceedings of the Symposium on the State of the Science Animal Manure and Waste Management, January 5-7, 2005, San Antonio, Texas. 2005 CDROM.

Technical Abstract: We hypothesized that feeding steers high moisture (HM) corn in lieu of dry rolled (DR) corn would reduce both the amount of starch being excreted in the manure, and the associated odor production. These innovative research methodologies could advance this area of research by demonstrating that dietary modification can substantially reduce the odor production from cattle finishing operations. One hundred forty-eight composite steers were fed either the DR or HM based diets in 10 pens of 15 animals and 8 Charolais-sired steers were used in a supporting experiment to assess nutrient balance. Feeding HM corn reduced fecal excretion of starch from 448 to 292 g/d compared to steers fed DR corn. Steers fed HM corn tended to have a slightly lower average daily gain but final carcass weight, yield and quality grade did not differ between treatments. In manure slurry incubations with soil and water, total VFA concentration was reduced in manure from the HM fed steers (180mM) compared to DR fed steers (97mM). Similarly, there was a decrease in total starch, alcohol, free glucose, and initial lactic acid concentration in the slurries from the HM manure. This was accompanied by an increase in the pH of the HM slurries. However, there was a slight increase in the branch-chain VFA in the HM slurries. These data suggest that feeding HM corn is a viable method to decrease fecal starch and odor production in a finishing cattle system with modest impact on animal productivity.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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