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.


2016 North Dakota Beef Report 

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 Unharvested Corn Can be Feed for Cattle - 10/29/2019
File NDSU Extension Offers Fall Cattle Checklist - 9/25/19
File Diet Changes Help Beef Cattle Cope with Winter Weather - 3/15/19
File Compare Alternative Feed Value, Prices - 3/13/19
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 2018 Impacts of Bunk Management on Animal Performance and Hydrogen Sulfide Concentrations of Steers Fed 25% Modified Distillers Grains with Solubles
The focus of this project was to examine the impact of bulk management strategy on animal performance, carcass characteristics, and hydrogen sulfide gas concentration in beef steers fed 25% modified distillers grains with solubles.
File 2018 Feeding North Dakota-born Calves to Finish in North Dakota- DFCS
The Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout project was developed to discover the actual final value of spring-born beef steer calves, provide comparisons between herds, and benchmark feeding and carcass performance.
File 2017 Retained Ownership of Calves - A Year to Remember
The Dakota Feeder Calf Show feedout project assists cattle producers in identifying cattle with superior growth and carcass characteristics.
File text/texmacs 2016 Feeding Whole or Rolled Corn in Feedlot Steer Backgrounding and Finishing Diets
The study evaluated feeding corn whole compared to rolled corn.
File 2016 Evaluation of Different Exogenous Enzymes to Improve Fiber Digestibility of Soybean Hulls
The objective of this study was to identify enzyme additives that consistently increase fiber digestibility of soybean hulls used in creep rations.
File 2016 Effects of Synbiotics on Rumen Fermentation
Synbiotics are the combination of pre- and probiotics. Studies have shown that synbiotics exhibited synergistic effects such as increasing beneficial bacteria in the rumen.
File 2016 Discovering Value in North Dakota Calves: The Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout Project XVI (2015-2016)
The Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout goal is to determine calf value based on feedlot and carcass performance.
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.
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