Evaluation of Proteferm® as a Nitrogen Supplement for Finishing Steers
Proteferm is a liquid by-product from the production of monosodium glutamate by fermentation that is 40% solids and contains 95% crude protein on a dry basis. Two trials were conducted with yearling steers to study the effects of different levels of Proteferm when added to 90% concentrate diets to replace corn and urea. Feeding Proteferm resulted in a decrease in urine pH, suggesting a metabolic acidosis that was probably caused by a negative cation–anion balance. Correcting the cation–anion imbalance resulted in an increase in feed intake and the performance of steers fed Proteferm as 1.5% of diet dry matter to be similar to the performance of control steers. Addition of sodium bicarbonate to the control diet or to the diet containing 1.5% Proteferm to produce a positive cation–anion balance did not improve performance. The results of these trials indicate that 1.5% Proteferm is the maximum that should be added to high concentrate diets fed to beef cattle without affecting performance or carcass value.