Evaluation of Beef Growing and Finishing Systems to Reduce Corn Use

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2009-01-01
Authors
Loy, Daniel
Trenkle, Allen
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This study compared systems where cattle were maintained on a 60% wet distillers’ grain diet (no grain) until slaughter or switched to a conventional grain-based finishing diet for 90 days. The third treatment was a conventionally finished group that had been fed a corn-hay backgrounding diet. There were no differences in the performance or carcass characteristics of the groups finished on the conventional grain diet. Of those two treatments, cattle backgrounded on the wet distillers’ grain based diet utilized 22 bushels of corn per head throughout the 223 day feeding program compared to 43 bushels for the cattle backgrounded on the corn-hay diet. Cattle finished on the 60% wet distillers’ grains diet used no corn, but gained slower, were lighter, leaner and had lower quality grades at the same number of days on feed. More research is needed to determine if more time on feed would maintain quality grades or a minimal number of days on feed is required.

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ASL R2413
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