I thought I’d share some of the recent beef research from ISU. One of the reports from Drs. Dahlke and Strohbehn is on using dry distillers grain as a creep feed.
Dried distillers grains is a good source of both energy and protein. This study examined the effect of providing DDGS in limited and ad libitum quantities to the young suckling calf as well as the subsequent feedyard performance. The study compared commercial creep feed provided in self-feeders, limit fed distillers grain (2 to 3 pounds per head per day), and ad libitum distillers grain. Ad libitum calves consumed twice as much as the limit fed group.
Calves were weaned and back grounded for one month prior to the feeding trial where 43 bull calves were monitored for individual intake. All were provided the same ration, and ultra sound evaluated for backfat, rib eye, intramuscular fat, breeding soundness and weight gain.
The limit fed DDGS creep group did not differ from commercially prepared creep feeds in the post weaning to yearling phase of life in regards to growth or carcass characteristics. Ad libitum calves were significantly heavier starting the feed out. They did not significantly differ in final weight or overall average daily gain. Dry matter intake was not different, but dry matter to weight conversion was significantly higher for the ad lib creep fed bulls.
The results of the distillers grain creep feeding generally seem very good since it is simple and does not negatively affect later feed out performance except for feed efficiency in the ad libitum creep fed calves. For more information and details on this project, check out the ISU Animal Industry Report A.S. Leaflet R2687.
Cow-Calf Operations, Feed/Corn Coproducts, Uncategorized
By Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center
Feed costs have been increasing since 2007, but recent developments have moved feed costs into uncharted territory. After 40 years of $2 corn livestock producers became quite comfortable with these costs and with the relationship between year to year feed cost fluctuations and the cost of production. 2007 brought a new plateau in feed (corn) costs which have continued to increase, along with increased variation and volatility. These appear to be the new rules of feed cost economics.
Perhaps the most dramatic change that has occurred during this time period is that corn is no longer the lowest cost source of feed energy. This is a drastic change in Iowa, where “corn-fed” is often considered to be the middle name of Iowa Beef. For much of the past 100 years, the best cattle feeding ration has included corn, home-grown forage and a complete protein-based supplement. Today the best options are more local and may change from year to year. To be the low cost producer today takes a new approach to management of feed, ration and cattle. Check out the latest issue of “Growing Beef Newsletter” for suggestions to consider as you develop feeding programs for the upcoming year.
What are you doing to control the increased cost of feed in your operation?
Director's Comments, Feed/Corn Coproducts, Feedlot Operations, Uncategorized
Iowa Beef Center beef program specialists, with funding from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, conducted two studies that have been summarized into new four-page factsheets available on the Iowa Beef Center Web site.
The first study compared continuous corn residue grazing without grain/co-product supplementation to strip-grazed cornstalks with distillers’ dry grain (DDG) supplementation.
The second study evaluated the potential benefits and drawbacks to utilizing distillers’ grains to supplement declining pastures. The authors found, among other observations, that pasture consumption decreased at higher levels of supplementation.
To read more on both topics, as well as useful observations from these studies, check out the factsheets on the Iowa Beef Center Web site:
Additional information on each topic is also available from our Web site:
Cow-Calf Operations, Feed/Corn Coproducts, Feedlot Operations, Forages, Hay & Grazing