Carrington Research Extension Center


Feedlot Research


Growing and finishing studies evaluate the usefulness of the many feeds available in North Dakota.  Management practices for feeding “natural” calves are being evaluated.  Feedlot performance, carcass traits, and taste panel studies are compared.  Feedlot research includes management and husbandry of calves, mitigation of winter weather stress, facilities development for working animals, stabilizing pen surfaces and water fountain styles.  Feeder cattle for feedlot studies are raised on the Research Center, procured from area ranches, purchased from area sale barns, or secured from other Research Centers.  Many research studies are conducted in collaboration with scientists on campus, and at other Research Centers.

Following are links to NDSU Extension publications and links to specific articles related to feedlot research.


2015 Beef Cattle and Range Research Report

Alternative Feeds for Ruminants

Beef Feeding Operation Siting and Design Basics

Biosecure Nutrient Management Practices

Combined Feed Value and Protein and Energy Calculator

Composting Animal Manures: A Guide to the Process and Management of Animal Manure Compost

Field Pea Grain for Beef Cattle

Harvesting, Storing and Feeding Corn as Earlage

Harvesting, Storing and Feeding High-Moisture Corn

Instructions for Use of Fly Ash to Stabilize Soil in Livestock Facilities

Low-stress Cattle Working Facilities

Low-stress Cattle Working Facilities Video

Managing Odor Nuisance and Dust from Cattle Feedlots

Producer's Guide to Livestock Manure Management Systems

Resource Guide for Livestock Manure Management

Using Flax in Livestock Diets

Wheat Middlings: A Useful Feed for Cattle

Winter Management of Feedlot Cattle


Cow/Calf Production    Top of Page

File Combined Feed Value and Protein and Energy Calculator
Please save the combined feed value and protein and energy calculator file to your computer and open in Microsoft Excel to use the calculator.
File Beef Production Incomes and Expenses for South Central North Dakota 2010-2014
Increasing costs combined with a lower trending market will reduce profit margins, making management decisions even more important.
File 2015 Influence of Two Fat Levels of Dry Distillers Grains in Diets with Corn or Barley on Steer Growing and Finishing Feedlot Performance
Corn distillers grain is produced at multiple ethanol plants in North Dakota. Primarily three moisture levels of corn distillers grain product are available: dry (~90-95% dry matter, DDGS), modified (49-52% dry mater, MDGS) or wet (< 48% dry matter; WDGS). The current process typically involves a step to remove corn oil (fat) during ethanol production. This oil removal may alter the nutrient density of the resulting distillers grain feedstuff, which in turn could affect animal performance.
File chemical/x-pdb 2015 Feedlot Beef Manure as a Source of Nitrogen for Wheat and Nitrogen Strategies to Increase Wheat Protein Content
Previous research at the Carrington REC has shown that plots fertilized with manure show similar yields to plots fertilized with commercial fertilizers, but the protein content is in general lower on the manure plots. The study objective was to assess the effects of beef feedlot manure application in combination with strategic commercial fertilizer applications to improve wheat protein content.
File 2015 Effects of Whole or Rolled Corn with 20 or 40 Percent Grass Hay on Finishing Performance of Yearling Steers
Crossbred yearling steers were used to evaluate feeding whole or dry-rolled corn in diets with 20 or 40 percent of the diet dry matter included from grass hay.
File 2015 Beets as Feed for Growing and Finishing Steers
Sugar beets have been fed to cattle throughout the world for the past 100+ years but only recently have we realized that this crop has the unique potential of producing high yields on saline soils where other crops will not grow. “Feed beets™” are a variation of sugarbeets developed specifically for feeding ruminant animals. Beets contain more energy than corn silage (80% vs. 70% TDN; Table 1) but are typically lower in dry matter (DM) (25% vs. 35%). The sugar and digestible fiber content make beets particularly attractive as a feedstuff for all classes of beef cattle.
File text/texmacs 2014 Effects of Fat Level in Distillers Grain on Feedlot Finishing Performance and Carcass Traits
Performance of steers fed rations with increasing fat in distillers grains.
File 2014 Effects of Corn Particle Size and Forage Level on Performance and Carcass Traits of Yearling Steers during Finishing
Animal performance for yearling steers fed diets containing whole, dry-rolled, or finely-ground corn with decreasing forage levels.
File Troff document 2014 An Update from the Discovery Farms Project
The Discovery Farms project provides a working farm setting to collect the data needed to help strike that balance between profitability and protection of natural resources.
File Troff document 2013 Forage Levels Handout
The forage levels in finishing diets - Standing Rock steers handout was given at the 2013 Carrington Research Extension Center Field Day.
File 2013 Feed Testing for Ranchers
Results of feed analysis can be used to better predict calf performance in backgrounding rations and develop effective cow wintering diets.
File Troff document 2013 Enzyme Handout
The enzyme feedlot growing trial handout given at the 2013 Carrington Research Extension Center Field Day.
File VCS/ICS calendar 2013 Effects of Forage Level in Finishing Diets on Beef Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characteristics
Results of a 2013 study to evaluate three different finishing diets that contained 20, 30, or 40 percent forage to assess effects on growth performance and meat-quality traits.
File VCS/ICS calendar 2013 Effects of Forage Level in Finishing Diets on Beef Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characterisitics
A trial to see how forage levels in cattle diets affect performance and carcass traits.
File Troff document 2013 Drylot Vs Pasture Beef Cow/Calf Production - 3 Year Progress Report
A trial to see the performance difference of cow/calf pairs in a drylot versus pasture.
File 2013 Discovering Value in North Dakota Calves; The Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout Project XII (2012-13)
Results from the 2012-13 Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout Project.
File 2013 CREC Annual Report of Research and Extension
File ECMAScript program 2013 CREC Annual Report Articles
File chemical/x-pdb 2013 Containment Pond Management Handout
The containment pond management handout given at the 2013 Carrington Research Extension Center Nutrient Management Day.
File ECMAScript program 2013 An Evaluation of Cellulo-Gest™ Supplement to Enhance Forage Digestibility and Improve Performance of Growing Calves
Results of a study to evaluate Cellulo-Gest, Old Mill-Troy Inc., North Troy, VT, fed in mixed rations to growing feedlot cattle.
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