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Title: Whole cottonseed supplementation improves performance and reduces carbon footprint of grazing cattle

item BECK, MATT - Oklahoma State University
item THOMPSON, LOGAN - Oklahoma State University
item WHITE, JASON - Oklahoma State University
item WILLIAMS, GARRET - Oklahoma State University
item Gunter, Stacey
item Moffet, Corey
item PLACE, SARA - Oklahoma State University
item REUTER, RYAN - Oklahoma State University

Submitted to: American Society of Animal Science Southern Section Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective of this experiment was to determine the effect of whole cottonseed (WCS) supplementation on average daily gain (ADG) and enteric methane (CH4) production of steers grazing native range during spring. Steers (n = 18; BW = 317 ± 5.5 kg) were adapted to an in-pasture CH4 measurement device (GreenFeed (GF); C-Lock Inc., Rapid City, South Dakota) for one week. Steers were stratified by adaptation-period use of GF and randomly assigned to treatments within stratifications. Treatments were either 0, 0.9, 1.8, 2.7, 3.6, or 4.5 kg of WCS (as-fed) per day offered in individual feeding stanchions. Orts were measured and actual WCS intake was used in the analysis. Unshrunk body weight was measured weekly before feeding for the duration of the experiment. Mean supplement intake per animal ranged from 0.89 to 2.86 kg per day. Total fat content of the diet (WCS + forage) at the greatest WCS intake was estimated to be 6.4%. Animal performance increased linearly as WCS intake increased (P = 0.02). Two of the three steers assigned to the 0 WCS treatment refused to use GF, and therefore CH4 emissions were unavailable. Because only one observation was available at 0 WCS, and the Cook’s Distance of this point was greater than one (Di = 7.48), the 0 WCS observation was excluded from further analysis. There tended to be a quadratic relationship between daily methane production and WCS intake (P = 0.057), and a quadratic relationship between carbon footprint (CFP; g of CH4 / kg of ADG) and WCS intake (P = 0.011) indicating minimum CFP at 2.0 kg WCS intake. The increased animal performance associated with WCS supplementation decreased CFP at moderate levels of supplementation. If ranchers choose to feed WCS to minimize CFP of steers grazing spring native range, they should feed approximately 2.0 kg per day of WCS.