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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Livestock Nutrient Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328139

Research Project: Develop Technologies to Protect Air Quality, Maintain Production Efficiency and Enhance Use of Manure from Southern Great Plains Beef and Dairy Agriculture

Location: Livestock Nutrient Management Research

Title: Effects of sorghum wet distillers grains plus solubles in steam-flaked corn-based finishing diets on steer performance, carcass characteristics, and digestibility characteristics

Author
item Buttrey, Emalee - Texas Agrilife Research
item Jenkins, Karla - Texas Agrilife Research
item Mccollum, Ted - Texas Agrilife Extension
item Cole, Noel - Retired Ars Employee
item Tedeschi, Luis - Texas A&m University
item Macdonald, Jim - Texas Agrilife Research

Submitted to: Professional Animal Scientist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2016
Publication Date: 12/1/2016
Citation: Buttrey, E., Jenkins, K., Mccollum, T., Cole, N.A., Tedeschi, L., Macdonald, J. 2016. Effects of sorghum wet distillers grains plus solubles in steam-flaked corn-based finishing diets on steer performance, carcass characteristics, and digestibility characteristics. Professional Animal Scientist. Vol. 32(6):768-776. doi:10.15232/pas.2016-01530.

Interpretive Summary: Distiller's grains are a byproduct of the grain-to-ethanol industry. In most areas of the U.S. corn is the grain source for ethanol production; however in the Southern Great Plains grain sorghum is frequently used to produce ethanol. Distiller's grains are usually used as a feed ingredient – especially for beef cattle in feedlots. However, we do not know the feeding value of distiller's grains made from grain sorghum. Therefore, we conducted two research studies to evaluate the effects of feeding sorghum-based wet distillers grains on performance, carcass characteristics, and nutrient digestibility of finishing steers. Inclusion of sorghum based distillers grain decreased (P = 0.05) daily gain and feed efficiency. Differences in cattle performance were primarily due to differences in the nutrient composition of sorghum based distillers grains.

Technical Abstract: Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of sorghum wet distillers grains (SWDGS) in finishing diets on steer performance, carcass characteristics, and nutrient digestibility. In Exp. 1, 240 steers (initial BW = 379 +/-1 kg) were fed steam-flaked corn (SFC)-based diets with or without 25% SWDGS and 7.5, 10.0, or 12.5% alfalfa hay (AH). There were no effects of AH concentration on BW, DMI, ADG, or G:F (P = 0.16). Inclusion of SWDGS reduced (P = 0.05) ADG and G:F. Fat thickness decreased (P = 0.03) and DP tended to decrease (P = 0.09) linearly as level of AH increased. On a live, shrunk basis, final BW of steers consuming diets containing 25% SWDGS were 12 kg lighter (P = 0.05) than steers fed diets without SWDGS. Hot carcass weight tended (P = 0.09) to be lighter for steers fed SWDGS. In Exp. 2, effects of corn processing method (SFC and dry-rolled corn, DRC) and 20% corn (CWDGS) or SWDGS inclusion on ruminal pH and in situ digestibility were evaluated. Cattle consuming diets containing SWDGS had a greater (P = 0.05) ruminal pH than steers consuming diets with CWDGS or no WDGS. The main effect of WDGS did not affect (P = 0.37) corn DM digestibility. Digestibility of DM and NDF differed between CWDGS and SWDGS (P less than 0.0001). Differences in performance and nutrient digestibility between CWDGS and SWDGS are primarily the result of differences in the product rather than an interaction with corn processing method.