sunflower screenings were evaluated as an energy source in a study involving
pregnant and non-pregnant cows.
The mature crossbred cows (n = 15) were allotted to one of four
The treatments consisted of pregnant cows consuming sclerotinia-infected
sunflower screenings; and non-pregnant cows consuming sclerotinia-infected
sunflower screenings, sclerotinia-infected sunflower screenings and durum midds,
or durum midds.
The sunflower screenings contained 52% sclerotia bodies on an air-dry
We observed minimal effect on performance and change in blood metabolites
in this field study.
Blood metabolite levels remained fairly consistent from the start to the
end of the trial.
All ending blood levels were either within their normal parameters or
consistent between treatments.
The introduction of sclerotinia infected sunflower screenings into the
diet did not appear to affect dry matter intake.
Numerically, there was a difference in weight gain across treatments.
The non-pregnant cows fed a sunflower/midds combination gained .87 lbs.
more per day than those fed exclusively sunflowers and .72 lbs. more than those
fed durum midds exclusively.
It is difficult to interpret the difference in weight gain at this point.
The difference in weight gain might be explained by the lower
digestibility in the screenings due to the density and hardness of the fungal
Added study of feeding sclerotinia may be warranted.
Body condition scores also varied between treatments.
Non-pregnant cows fed screenings/midds and the control treatment both
gained one half of a condition score.
Pregnant and non-pregnant cows fed screenings had similar gains in
condition score with .33 and .38 respectively, suggesting minimal effect.
To date, no reproductive problems have been noted due to inclusion of the
screenings in the ration.
Sclerotinia-infected sunflower screenings appear to be a safe and
energy-rich feedstuff, which can be readily used in cow diets to enhance
profitability through lower feed costs. h
Sclerotinia-infected Sunflowers as a Feed Source for Pregnant and
Non-pregnant Mature Beef Cows
V.L. Anderson and E.