Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Brookings, South Dakota » Integrated Cropping Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #227587

Title: Sulfur in Distillers Grains for Dairy Cattle

item Rosentrater, Kurt

Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2008
Publication Date: 6/5/2008
Citation: Schingoethe, D.J., Garcia, A., Kalscheur, K.F., Hippen, A.R., Rosentrater, K.A. 2008. Sulfur in Distillers Grains for Dairy Cattle. South Dakota Extension Extra.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sulfur is an essential element needed by animals for many functions. About 0.15% of the body weight is sulfur. It is found in the amino acids methionine, cysteine, cystine, homocysteine, and taurine; in chondroitin sulfate of cartilage; and in the B-vitamins, thiamin and biotin. Methionine, thiamin, and biotin cannot be synthesized in cattle tissues, so they must be supplied in the diet or synthesized by ruminal microbes. The sulfur content of most feed sources reflects the sulfur amino acid content of the proteins in the feed. Sulfur in distillers products has become a recent concern. When starch in corn is fermented to ethanol, other nutrients in the kernels are concentrated approximately 3-fold in the distillers grains with solubles (DGS). Feeding a great excess of sulfur can be harmful to the animals. Distillers grains and associated coproducts such as CDS contain relatively high concentrations of sulfur, often more than is typically listed in reference tables, but still within the range of concentrations present in many other common feeds. One can usually formulate diets within the recommended range of 0.2 to 0.4% sulfur even when dealing with high sulfur-containing distillers products. It is recommended that producers obtain sulfur content information when using DGS in diets of livestock.