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Effects of displacing distillers grains with corn in high forage diets

Grant number: 15/17108-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 24, 2015
Effective date (End): September 17, 2016
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Nutrition and Feeding
Principal Investigator:Luis Felipe Prada e Silva
Grantee:Viviane Borba Ferrari
Supervisor abroad: James Curtis Macdonald
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:13/18125-4 - Effect of level and sources of non fiber carbohydrates on intake, body gain, carcass characteristics and rumen kinects of finishing bulls., BP.DR

Abstract

Distillers grains have been an economical forage supplement in US beef production systems because they have protein and energy values that are greater than corn, but have been priced less than corn. Expanded international exports of distillers grains has inflated the price relative to corn so that the cost per unit of energy is no as favorable as it once was. Corn is known to negatively impact fiber digestion and is limited in protein. We have previously demonstrated that supplementing corn with urea does not result in similar animal performance to cattle fed distillers grains. However, it is not known if corn can displace a portion of distillers grains as supplemental energy in high forage diets. We hypothesize that corn may replace as much as 60% of distillers grains without negatively impacting animal performance because the distillers grains will still meet the protein requirements of the young growing beef calf. Our objective will be to determine the effects of replacing 20, 40, or 60% of the supplemental energy from distillers grains with corn. We will utilize 120 crossbred beef (bos Taurus) steers trained in a Calan gate facility. Steer will be the experimental unit and will be fed a mixed diet containing 56% forage (corn residue) and 4% supplements that contain vitamins, minerals, and feed additives. The diets will differ in the proportion of supplemental energy that comes from distillers grains or corn. The treatments will include 100, 80, 60, or 40% of the supplemental energy provided from distillers grains. All diets will contain a total of 40% supplemental energy from corn or distillers grains. Steers will be on the experiment for a minimum of 84 days. Response variables will include dry matter intake, average daily gain, and feed efficiency. (AU)