Monday Extension Report – June 12, 2017

June 12, 2017

Animal ID sheets due June 15

A quick reminder for Cherry County 4-H Horse and Livestock project members. Animal ID sheets (animal ownership affidavit forms) are due to the Extension Office no later than this Thursday, June 15.  ID sheets and ear tags may be picked up at the Extension Office or you can find the ID forms on our website.

Modified Distillers Grains Fed to Yearlings can Stretch Summer Grass and Improve Gains

The June BeefWatch email newsletter and the BeefWatch podcast recently highlighted UNL research showing that feeding modified distillers grains to yearlings on grass can stretch the grass and improve gains.

Researchers supplemented yearlings at .6% of body weight of Modified Distillers Grains (MDGS) on a dry matter basis. The distillers was fed daily on the ground in the pasture.

They found that feeding MDGS replaced a portion of grazed grass and allows for higher pasture stocking rates. It wasn’t a 1:1 reduction, 1 pound of MDGS replaced .65 pounds of forage. That amounted to an approximately 15% reduction in forage consumption.

Supplemented steers gained 0.68 pounds more per head per day than non-supplemented steers. Supplemented heifers gained anywhere from 0.44 to 1.26 pounds more per head per day than non-supplemented heifers depending upon the study.

Researchers calculated that approximately 5% of the MDGS was lost from feeding on the ground. Dry distillers grains would have a much higher loss.

The feeding locations were moved around the pastures to reduce the trampling effect. The result was that they found no visual detriment to the rangeland where the MDGS was fed.

The value of grazed forage saved from supplementing MDGS at .6% of body weight, plus the improved yearling gain can reduce cost of gain and improve profitability. Of course you would need to push the pencil for yourself. Value of the forage, cost of the MDGS, cost of feeding the supplement, the value of added gain, and cattle performance all influence potential profitability.

The results of these studies suggest that ranchers grazing yearlings may want to evaluate the potential cons and benefits of supplementing ethanol co-products to yearlings grazing summer pasture. For more information you can visit beef.unl.edu and check out either the BeefWatch Podcast or the BeefWatch newsletter article.

You can call the extension office at 402-376-1850 for more information.