2000 Beef Research Report


Livestock Research and Education

Livestock projects at the Carrington Research Extension Center are designed to be of direct benefit to the beef producers throughout the state and region.  This publication provides results and information on activities accomplished during the recent past in beef production.  A separate bison research summary is also available.

The diverse disciplines represented by authors of papers in this publication represent the increasingly complex nature of livestock production.  Concerns go beyond nutrition and breeding to record analysis and environmental impact.  We hope some of the papers are of value to all.

Livestock efforts

Beef cow/calf production based on feeds from crop residues and co-product feeds appears to be both biologically and economically feasible and offers a legitimate enterprise for integrating cows into an intensively cropped region.  Cows can add value to cropping system biomass and spread the risk of single enterprise farming.  Beef nutrition research includes “new” and “unusual” feeds balanced in diets for the genetic potential of the cows.  Similarly, value added concepts in the feedlot enterprise have been proven to be feasible when management and economies of scale are optimized.  The tremendous variety and quantity of feedgrains and processing co-products in the region generally insure competitive feedstuff pricing for North Dakota feeders.

Waste management is becoming increasingly visible and restrictive for all livestock producers.  All of us are interested in protecting the surface and ground water resources and reducing point source pollution.  This mission may be accomplished while improving the environment of confined animals by stabilizing soil in animal pens using fly ash.  A major study is underway to evaluate this practice.

We hope the information in this publication is useful to you and leads to improved quality of life, financial reward, and “success” as a grower of food for an increasing world population.  If you have questions or comments on past research, suggestions for future studies, or want to interact with one of us, please e-mail us at the address listed or call (701) 652-2951.  This proceedings is published in its entirety at the Carrington Center website at www.ag.nodak.edu/carringt/


Table of Contents

The Beef Cow/Calf Enterprise

Developing a Commercial Range Cake with Crambe Meal
                Woodrow Poland, Vern Anderson and Lee Tisor

Potato Co-product as a Feed Source for Lactating Mature Cows and Heifers  
                Vern Anderson and Eric Bock

Sclerotinia Infected Sunflowers as a Feed Source  for Pregnant and Non-pregnant Mature Beef Cows
                Vern Anderson and Eric Bock

Management Characteristics of High and Low Profit Beef Cow Producers  in East-Central North Dakota
                Steve Metzger

 

The Beef Feedlot

Malting Barley Co-products or Wheat Midds in Corn based Diets  for Growing Yearling Steers
                Vern Anderson and Eric Bock

Effects of Tempering and a Yeast/Enzyme Mixture on Intake, Ruminal Fermentation, and In Situ Disappearance in Steers Fed Barley Based Finishing Diets  
Amy Radunz, Greg Lardy, Vern Anderson, Joel Caton, and Merle Bauer

Evaluation of Temper Rolled Barley and a Yeast/Enzyme Supplement on the Performance and Carcass Traits of Growing and Finishing Feedlot Steers
                Vern Anderson and Eric Bock

Effects of Processing Field Peas in Steer Grower Diets
                Eric Bock

A Comparison of Corn/Midds, Barley and Corn in Addition to Potato Co-Product in Finishing Steer Diets  
                Eric Bock

Identification of Fast Growing Genetics  
                Karl Hoppe, Russ Danielson and Dale Hildebrant

 

Facilities

A Recap on Two Years of Assessing Waste Management Systems  for Livestock Operations
                Scott Birchall

Demonstration of Lignite Ash for Feedlot Surfaces – Project Update
                Scott Birchall

 

Special Articles

North Dakota Barley Feeders, LLLP Proposes to Add Value to ND Commodities
                Dr. Vern Anderson and Audie Baca


Developing a Commercial Range Cake with Crambe Meal
Effect of crambe meal inclusion on intake preference of range cake
when offered to beef cows and yearlings grazing stockpiled perennial forage

W. Poland1, V. Anderson2 and L. Tisor1
1
Dickinson and 2Carrington R/E Centers
North Dakota State University

Summary

Biologically, crambe meal is a viable protein supplement that can be effectively used in beef cattle diets. Grazing cattle readily consume supplements containing lower concentrations of crambe meal. Higher levels of crambe meal inclusion may limit supplement consumption. Ultimate inclusion of crambe meal in grazing supplements may be limited to 50% of supplement formulation. The intake-reducing potential of supplements containing higher levels of crambe meal may prove beneficial as an intake limiter in grazing supplements. Current FDA restrictions appear to be the major limitation to aggressively using crambe meal in commercial grazing supplements.

Introduction

Crambe (Crambe abyssinica), a member of the plant family Cruciferae, is an erect annual with large pinnately lobed leaves, white flowers and spherical seeds (Martin et al., 1976). It is a cool-season crop adapted to north central and northwestern states and adjacent areas in Canada. Good quality seed contains about 32% oil and 20 to 30% crude protein. The erucic acid content of the oil ranges from 50 to 60%. The oil has many industrial uses and demand for the oil is increasing the number of crop acres seeded to crambe in the northern Great Plains.

Crambe meal, primarily residue following oil extraction of crambe seed, has been shown to be a viable supplemental protein source for beef cattle (Anderson et al., 1993; Anderson and Trautman, 1995; Caton et al., 1995; Anderson, 1998). Crambe meal contains certain sulfur compounds that are known to elicit a strong or sharp flavor, which may affect palatability in livestock when fed in high concentrations.

In North Dakota, the meal is marketed at salvage values in spite of recent research data demonstrating its usefulness as a protein supplement in cattle diets. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) currently restricts the use of crambe meal to a maximum of 4.2% of diet dry matter for feedlot cattle only. Additional studies further demonstrating the usefulness of crambe meal as a viable protein supplement for grazing beef cattle could be useful in petitioning FDA to reduce or remove feeding restrictions.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of crambe meal inclusion on intake preference of a range cake when offered to grazing beef cows and yearlings grazing stockpiled perennial forage.

Materials and Methods

Two trials with grazing animals were used to evaluate supplement preference in October 1999, at the Dickinson R/E Center. The first involved dry beef cows and the second fall-born beef yearlings. Four supplements (Table 1) were utilized in the evaluations. Pelleted supplements included either 0, 25, 50 or 75% crambe meal. The same supplements were used in each evaluation.

In the first evaluation, 19 crossbred cows were randomly allotted to one of two predominately crested wheatgrass pastures that had not been previously grazed that year. Four concrete feed bunks were placed into each pasture. Cattle were given simultaneous access to all supplements. Supplements were offered in separate bunks within a pasture. Initial bunk selection for each supplement was made randomly and bunk selection was changed weekly. Bunks were checked daily and fresh supplement added, if necessary, to maintain approximately a maximum daily offering. Maximum daily offering for each supplement was set at 11.3 kg (25.0 lb) for the first three days and 22.7 kg (50.0 lb) for the remainder of the evaluation. Unconsumed supplement (ort) was removed from the bunk weekly and weighed. Preference for individual supplements was expressed as weekly consumption, where consumption was defined as the difference between supplement delivered and ort. Supplements were offered for a total of 25 days.

The second evaluation involved 24 crossbred, fall-born yearling calves. Calves were blocked by sex and allocated within block to one of two predominately native range pastures. Pasture had experienced minimal grazing pressure in the year of the experiment and most of the forage present was stockpiled spring growth. Management of the evaluation was identical to the previous cow evaluation. Two of the calves in this evaluation became sick during the course of the evaluation (day 20 and day 23). Blood samples were collected from sick and apparently healthy animals on day 23 and whole blood (subset of animals) and plasma (all animals) profiles were conducted at a local hospital. Sick animals were removed from the study on day 23. Veterinarian suggestions based upon verbal description of the problem or verbal description and visual assessment were possible lead poisoning or polioencephalomalacia (PEM; thiamin deficiency).

Results

Potential supplement deliveries to cows (Figure 1) increased from week 1 to week 2, with intakes leveling off subsequent to week 2. This was a function of experimental protocol. Total supplemental intake (as a percentage of potential; Figure 2) increased until week 3. Consumption of supplement was affected by supplement composition (Figure 3). Cows consumed all of the 0% and 25% supplements offered from the beginning of the evaluation. Consumption of the 50% supplement increased steadily through week 4. Cows consumed all of the 50% supplement offered in week 4. Consumption of the 75% supplement increased through week 3 and declined slightly in week 4.

Potential supplement deliveries to yearlings increased from week 1 to week 2 and fluctuated slightly between weeks 2 and 4 based upon number of animals present. Some difficulty was experienced in week 2 with maintaining yearlings in their respective pastures and some movement between pastures was observed during this week. Total supplemental intake increased until week 3 and then declined in week 4. Consumption of supplement was affected by supplement composition. Yearlings consumed all of the 0%, 25%, and 50% supplements by weeks 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Consumption of the 75% supplement increased until week 3 and then declined in week 4.

Whole blood (Table 2) and plasma (Table 3) analysis of sick and apparently healthy animals suggested that sick animals experienced elevated plasma total bilirubin, asparate aminotransferase, glucose, creatinine and sodium. Plasma urea nitrogen and calcium were depressed in sick animals. Other blood constituents were not affected by health status. Thyroxine concentration was not different due to health status.

Discussion

Preference for supplements containing crambe meal was evaluated in beef cows and yearlings grazing stockpiled perennial forage. Cattle readily consumed control supplements containing wheat midds and canola meal. Supplements containing small amounts  (25%) of crambe meal were readily consumed with little or no lag period. However, when crambe meal constituted a substantial percentage (75%) of the supplement formulation, supplemental intake was reduced. Given an appropriate period of time (< 4 weeks), cattle adapted to supplements containing up to 50% crambe meal. The intake-reducing characteristic of crambe meal when fed in high concentrations may have the potential of being exploited as an intake regulator in range fed supplements. Further work in this area would seem warranted.

Plants in the mustard family (e.g. rapeseed, mustard, turnips, kale) contain goitrogens that can impair thyroid function when consumed in sufficient quantities (Ensminger and Olentine, 1978). Some similar sulfur-containing compounds are present in crambe meal. Plasma thyroxine concentrations did not indicate a problem with thyroid function in this study due to the consumption of crambe meal.

Two possible causes for two of the yearlings being pulled from the study included lead poisoning or PEM. Hematologic abnormalities, which may be indicative of lead poisoning (Aiello, 1998), were not present in the animals that were apparently sick. Additionally, a source of lead contamination was not found in the pastures where the yearlings were grazing.

Polioencephalomalacia is considered to be a metabolic neurologic disease that is seen worldwide, primarily in domestic ruminants (Aiello, 1998). Incidence is highest in feedlot animals, but can occur in pastured animals particularly if they are fed substantial quantities of grain supplements. Feeding diets that are high in concentrate (i.e. low in roughage) and high in sulfur have been implicated in PEM. There is relative constant amount of sulfur in naturally occurring proteins (Kincaid, 1988), thus diets that are relatively high in protein would also be relatively high in sulfur. Due to experimental protocol, cattle in this experiment had the opportunity to consume rather large quantities of a high-concentrate, high-protein supplement. These characteristics may have resulted in 2 of the 43 animals used in this study experiencing PEM.

Implications

Biologically, crambe meal is a viable protein supplement that can be effectively used in beef cattle diets. Current FDA restrictions appear to be the major limitation to aggressively using crambe meal in commercial grazing supplements. Ultimate inclusion of crambe meal in grazing supplements may be limited to 50% of supplement formulation. The intake-reducing potential of supplements containing higher levels of crambe meal may prove beneficial as an intake limiter.

References

Aiello, S.E. 1998. The Merck veterinary manual (8th edition). Merck and Co., Inc. NJ.

Anderson, V.L. 1998. Performance, metabolic and physiological effects of crambe meal as a protein source for beef cattle. Ph.D. Dissertation, North Dakota State University, Fargo.

Anderson, V.L. and W.D. Slanger, S.L. Boyles and P.T. Berg. 1993. Crambe meal is equivalent to soybean meal for backgrounding and finishing beef steers. J. Anim. Sci. 71:2608-2613.

Anderson, V.L. and B. Trautman. 1995. Crambe meal in creep feed for beef calves. J. Anim. Sci. 74(Suppl. 1):35.

Caton, J.S., V.I. Burke, V.L. Anderson, L.A. Burgwald, P.L. Norton and K.C. Olson. 1994. Influence of crambe meal as a protein source on intake, site of digestion, ruminal fermentation and microbial efficiency in beef steers fed grass hay. J. Anim. Sci. 72:3238-3245.

Ensminger, M.E and C.G. Olentine. 1978. Feeds and nutrition - complete. The Ensminger Publishing Co. CA.

Kincaid, R. Macro elements for ruminants. In: The ruminant animal: digestive physiology and nutrition. D.C. Church, editor. Prentice Hall, NJ.

Martin, J.H., W.H. Leonard and D.L. Stamp. Principles of field crop production. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. NY.

 

Table 1.  Ingredient formulation (percentage of diet, as-fed basis) for crambe meal supplements in a range cake.

 

0%

25%

50%

75%

Crambe meal

0

25

50

75

Wheat midds

40

27

13

0

Canola meal

60

48

37

25

 

 

 

 

 

Crude Proteina

30.0

29.9

29.9

29.8

a Projected composition based upon average values for crude protein composition of dietary ingredients (30, 18 and 43% crude protein for crambe meal, wheat midds and canola meal, respectively).


Table 2.  Whole blood analysis of yearlings consuming supplements with crambe meal.

Itema

Normal values

Sick

Healthy

P value

Erythrocytes, uL

5 - 8

5.75

5.34

.27

Hemoglobin, g/dL

8 - 14

11.6

11.3

.65

Pack cell volume

26 - 42

27.6

26.0

.28

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin, pg

11 - 17

20.2

21.1

.69

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, g/dL

26 - 34

41.9

43.5

.73

Platelet count, uL

300 - 800

560

407

.20

Leukocytes, uL

4 - 12

12.1

10.8

.49

Lymphocyte (absolute), uL

4.64

5.75

7.4

.28

Lymphocyte, %

-

49.0

68.9

.29

a N = 2 and 2 for sick and apparently healthy animals, respectively.

 

Table 3.  Plasma analysis of  yearlings consuming supplements with crambe meal.

Item

Normal values

Sick

Healthy

P value

Bilirubin

 

 

 

 

    Totala, mg/dL

.2 - .3

.55

.28

.002

    Direct (conjugated)b, mg/dL

.18

.030

.096

.58

    Indirect (unconjugated)c, mg/dL

-

.50

.28

.12

Protein

 

 

 

 

    Totald, g/dL

6.0 - 7.6

7.60

6.92

.19

    Albumind, g/dL

3.2 - 3.4

1.45

1.41

.53

    Albumin/Globulin ratiod

-

.25

.28

.31

Enzymes

 

 

 

 

    Alkaline phosphotased, IU/L

5 - 62

109

136

.52

    Asparate aminotransferased, IU/L

56 - 165

88.5

70.8

.01

    Alanine aminotransferasec, IU/L

9 - 64

29.5

27.5

.44

Metabolites

 

 

 

 

    Glucosed, mg/dL

70.3 - 72.3

109

78

.003

    Blood urea nitrogend, mg/dL

6 - 27

22.5

29.4

.062

    Creatinined, mg/dL

1.0 - 2.1

1.15

.90

.0005

    Blood urea nitrogen/creatinine ratiod

-

19.2

33.0

.001

Electrolytes

 

 

 

 

    Calciumd, mg/dl

11.1

9.1

10.1

.0001

    Sodiumd, mEq/L

132 - 152

147

144

.06

    Potassiumd, mEq/L

3.9 - 5.8

5.55

5.12

.41

    Chlorided, mEq/L

96 - 111

106

105

.86

    Bicarbonated, mEq/L

21 - 27

25.0

24.2

.69

    Osmolalityd, mOsm/L

300

297

292

.17

    Anion gapd

-

17.5

14.6

.17

Thyroxinec, ug/dL

-

6.11

6.14

.97

a N = 2 and 19 for sick and apparently healthy animals, respectively.
b N = 2 and 7 for sick and apparently healthy animals, respectively.
c N = 2 and 4 for sick and apparently healthy animals, respectively.
d N = 2 and 22 for sick and apparently healthy animals, respectively.


Potato Co-product as a Feed Source for Lactating Mature Cows and Heifers

V.L. Anderson and E. J. Bock
North Dakota State University

Introduction

The North Dakota potato industry has developed to a point where the disposal of its by-products is a serious problem.  The disposal options are: landfill, land application, or livestock.  Ruminant livestock have the capacity to consume relatively large amounts of potato by-product in a variety of forms and moisture levels.  Most of the high-energy grains (corn and barley) grown in the state are processed for commercial applications.  The by-products from these processing methods yield a high protein, high fiber, and modest energy feedstuff.  The livestock sector in North Dakota is in need of a high energy, low fiber product.  Potato by-products contain substantial energy in the form of starch with low fiber levels.  This trial compared a potato by-product based diet to a traditional corn silage based diet for lactating mature cows and heifers.

Table 1.  Nutrient content of potato by-product

 

Item

Potato by-product

Dry matter, %

17.00

 

----------------Dry matter basis----------------

Crude Protein, %

11.30

Acid Detergent Fiber, %

17.50

Neutral Detergent Fiber, %

24.70

Fat, %

1.30

Ash, %

10.75

Calcium, %

.13

Phosphorus, %

.22

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials and Methods

Sixty-two mature lactating cows and 29 heifers were allotted to six pens at the Carrington Research Center and blocked by weight.  Cows were fed either potato by-product or corn silage as an energy source with the rest of the diet consisting of straw, alfalfa hay, wheat midds, and a vitamin/mineral premix.  Diets were balanced to meet the nutrient requirements of the lactating mature cows and heifers (NRC, 1996).  Cows and heifers were weighed on consecutive days and body condition scores were assigned at beginning and end of trial. Weights were taken every 28 days during the trial as well. Cows and heifers were fed a totally mixed diet once per day in a fenceline bunk.

Table 2.  Diets for lactating mature cows and heifers

 

 

------------------Cows-----------------

-----------------Heifers----------------

 

Item

 

Control

Potato

by-product

 

Control

Potato

by-product

 

Pounds/hd/day as fed

Potato by-product

0

49.5

0

48.6

Corn silage

32.3

0

32

0

Wheat midds

4.6

5.5

4.6

5.4

Alfalfa Hay

7.7

5.5

7.6

5.4

Straw

6.6

18.1

6.6

17.7

Results and Discussion

Both cows and heifers had similar dry matter intake between the two treatments.  However, the cows fed potato by-product had an advantage in average daily gain of 0.5 lb/day above the control treatment and the heifers fed potato by-product had a 0.65 lb/day advantage.  This would suggest that more starch was available for energy in the potato by-product due to the lower fiber fraction.  The cost/hd/day was less expensive for the potato by-product treatments by $0.15 for both the cows and heifers.  This savings added up to $18/hd for the duration of the trial.  Body condition scores also varied between treatments.  As noted in Table 2, cows and heifers fed potato by-product had a greater change in BCS than the control treatment with an advantage of .36 and .13 respectively.  As stated before, this was also most likely due to the increased energy availability in the potato by-product.  No difference was noted in ADG of the calves between the two treatments.  From this we can summarize that milk output was not affected by treatment.

 

Table 3.  Performance of heifers and cows fed either potato by-product or corn silage as an energy source

 

-----------------Cows------------------

-----------------Heifers----------------

 

Item

Control

 

Potato by-product

Control

 

Potato by-product

 

 

 

 

 

DMI, lbs.

36.88

35.63

34.40

32.71

ADG, lbs.

0.44

0.94

0.38

1.03

Change in BCS

-0.16

+0.20

+0.08

+0.21

Cost/hd/day

$0.99

$0.84

$0.92

$0.77

 

------------------------------Performance of calves------------------------------

ADG, lbs.

1.62

1.63

1.84

1.79

Implications

Overall, both diets yielded satisfactory results.  It appears that feeding potato by-product does have advantages over a traditional corn silage based diet.  We observed higher weight gain, a greater change in body condition score, as well as cost savings.


Sclerotinia Infected Sunflowers as a Feed Source for Pregnant and Non-pregnant Mature Beef Cows

 V.L. Anderson and E. J. Bock
Carrington Research Extension Center
North Dakota State University

Introduction

Sclerotinia, or white mold, is a fungus that affects sunflowers during periods of prolonged exposure to wet conditions.  Due to the large amount of sunflowers rejected by processes in some years, producers are looking for a different way to utilize these infected sunflowers or their screenings. 

Research on the topic of feeding sclerotinia-infected sunflowers to cattle has not been conducted.  Conservative advice has been to use caution when feeding this product.  The goal of this trial was to measure the effect of sclerotinia-infected sunflower screenings (SISS) on intake, weight gain, body condition score, and blood metabolites of both pregnant and non-pregnant cows.

 

Table 1.  Nutrient content of sclerotinia infected sunflower screenings

 

Item

SISS

Dry matter, %

91.58

 

---------------Dry matter basis-------------

Crude Protein, %

11.48

Acid Detergent Fiber, %

39.76

Neutral Detergent Fiber, %

46.47

Fat, %

15.77

Ash, %

7.13

Calcium, %

.7254

Phosphorus, %

.2580

Materials and Methods

Mature crossbred cows (n = 15) were allotted to one of four treatments.  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 weight basis.  Diets (Table 2) were formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of the pregnant mature cows and the non-pregnant mature cows (NRC, 1996) and to be isonitrogenous and isocaloric.  Cows were weighed at the start and end of the trial.  Totally mixed rations were fed to appetite in fenceline bunks.  Blood was drawn by venipuncture in vacuum tubes and plasma aspirated and frozen in duplicate vials at the start and end of the trial.  Plasma samples were analyzed for the large animal blood profile. 

 

 

Table 2.  Diets for mature cows fed Midds, SISS/Midds, and SISS

 

 

Item

Control, non-pregnant, Midds

Non-pregnant, SISS, Midds

Non-pregnant, SISS

Pregnant,

SISS

 

------------------------------Pounds/hd/day as fed-------------------------------

Straw

4.85

4.74

4.59

4.62

Alfalfa

5.20

5.08

4.92

4.95

Corn silage

19.60

19.13

18.53

18.67

SISS

0

6

12

12

Midds

10

5

0

0

Results and Discussion

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 with changes reported in Table 4.  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 SISS due to the density and hardness of the fungal bodies.  Added study of feeding sclerotinia may be warranted.  Body condition scores also varied between treatments.  As noted in Table 3, non-pregnant cows fed sunflowers/midds and the control treatment both gained one half of a condition score.  Pregnant and non-pregnant cows fed sunflowers had similar gains in condition score with .33 and .38 respectively, suggesting minimal effect.

 

Table 3.  Performance and change in blood metabolites

 

Item

Control, Non-pregnant, Midds

Non-pregnant, SISS/Midds

Non-pregnant, SISS

Pregnant, SISS

 

---------------------------------Performance---------------------------------------

DMI, lbs.

25.04

25.67

26.20

26.31

ADG, lbs.

1.48

2.20

1.33

0.25

Change in BCS

+0.50

+0.50

+0.38

+0.33

 

 

-------------------------Change in blood metabolites----------------------------

Glucose

+5.00

-12.25

+10.25

-7.33

Urea nitrogen

-0.50

+2.00

+9.00

+10.67

Creatinine

+0.13

+0.05

-0.13

-0.23

Total protein

-0.05

-0.18

-0.25

-0.47

Albumin

0.00

-0.02

-0.10

-0.07

Calcium

-0.23

-0.23

+0.03

-0.47

Phosphorus

+0.28

+0.80

-0.45

-0.43

GGTP

+0.50

-1.25

0.00

-1.33

Total bilirubin

0.00

0.00

-0.05

+0.03


Management Characteristics of High and Low Profit Beef Cow Producers in East-Central North Dakota

Steve Metzger
Carrington Area Farm Business Management Program
Carrington Public Schools and Carrington Research Extension Center, NDSU

 Introduction

The present timing of the beef cattle cycle presents an opportunity for the beef cow-calf producer to again realize dollars of profit unseen for several years.  In order for beef producers to recognize and maximize these profits a real understanding of both the production and economic numbers is essential.  A wide gap exists between those producers who would be considered high profit and those who would fall into the group of low profit producers.  In order for a producer to really know where they fit, they must have an understanding of all production and economic numbers related to their herd and not just the pounds weaned, the price received for calves sold, or the cost of feeds purchased.

Procedure

Data for this study was compiled through the Carrington Area Farm Business Management Program in conjunction with the North Dakota Farm Business Management Education Program.  The Carrington program is one of 18 programs in the state wide North Dakota program and one of 10 included in what is known as Region III of the North Dakota program.  The data for this study was confined to the Region III area, an area reaching from the eastern edge of the Missouri River to the western edge of the Red River Valley and from the North Dakota-South Dakota border northward to the northern edge of McLean, Sheridan, Wells, Eddy, and Steele counties.

The data was collected over a five-year period from 1995 through 1999.  The minimum number of herds involved in any one year was 57 with a maximum of 81 and a total of 326.  The number of cows, calculated on a full 12-month basis ranged from a low of 6,030 to a high of 8,578 in any one year and totaled 35,252 for the five-year period.  Approximately 25 to 30% of the total cow database came from within the Carrington area program.  In each of the five years of the study, the data was collected, summarized, and then separated into the top or high profit 20% and into the low profit 20%.  The determination for profitability was, in each group, based upon the return to overhead expenses.  All economic data was analyzed on both a per cow and per hundred-weight (cwt.) of  production basis.  

The data collection cycle for each herd followed the calendar year.  Replacement heifers were not included in the yearlong database but were treated as an individual and separate enterprise.  All breeding costs are absorbed within the main database and are allocated as part of the total per cow or per hundred-weight cost of production.  While enterprise records were developed for most feeds raised, a narrow range of market values was used to price the various feeds fed to the cow herds.  This process eliminated the potential impact of highly or excessively low priced feeds upon the total costs per cow.  Range and pasture lands were typically allocated at their cost of production or rental rate and converted over to an animal unit month (aum) basis.  While all expenses were gathered on a 12-month basis, the income side, other than for the sale of cull animals or breeding stock, was closed off at weaning when the calves were physically separated and sold or transferred to a backgrounding or feeding enterprise.  Those calves that were transferred out rather then being sold, also had a 3% shrinkage factor applied to them.  Any late calves held over became part of the total beef cow-herd inventory at the end of the calendar year.

Results and Discussion

The total number of cows in the high profit group, as shown in Table 1, was 6,384 head.  The low profit group was slightly larger with a total of 6,556 head for the five-year period.  The average of all cows in the group, including the low and high profit cows, is included in the first column of  Tables 1 and 2 under the heading of “Average Profit”.  While high profit herds had a slightly higher pregnancy percentage, 98.6% as compared to low profit herds at 97.2%, a much greater difference was noted in their culling patterns as low profit herds were culled at the higher percentage of 15.8% in comparison to the 11.4% of high profit herds.  As noted in Table 1, high profit herds had a definite advantage in both calving and weaning percentages.   While low profit and high profit herds were only 43 pounds different in their average weaning weights, using actual scale weights whenever possible, they varied greatly in pounds weaned per exposed female with the high profit herds accumulating 509 pounds per exposed female, an advantage of 78 pounds over the low profit herds.

Table 1.  Five-year beef cow performance data (per cow basis)*

 

Average Profit

Low Profit

High Profit

 

 

 

 

Number of cows

35,252

6,556

6,384

Pregnancy percentage

97.8%

97.2%

98.6%

Culling percentage

14.0%

15.8%

11.4%

Calving percentage

94.7%

92.1%

95.9%

Weaning percentage

89.2%

84.2%

91.9%

Calf death loss%

7.2%

10.5%

6.5%

Average weaning wt. (lbs.)

539

511

554

Pounds weaned per exposed female

481

431

509

Value of calves sold or transferred out per cwt.

$71.27

$71.41

$72.27

*Source:  North Dakota Farm Business Management  Program, Region III Report, 1995-1999

The high profit herds, as shown in Table 2, had a total production and sales value of $365.51 for an increase of $60.13 over the low profit herds.  In the area of total listed expenses, the low profit herds, surged ahead by $50.89 for a total of $351.00 per cow.  The single largest difference in the additional total listed expenses to low profit herds was an additional feed cost of $33.47 per cow.  While pasture or range costs were comparable, low profit herds had higher costs in all other feed areas.  Total veterinary and livestock supply costs were only slightly higher for the low profit herds at $23.87 with the high profit herds having an average of $19.56 per cow.  Other direct costs contributed an additional $14.78 per cow to those cows in the low profit herds.

Table 2.  Five-year beef cow economic performance data (per cow basis)*

 

Average profit

Low profit

High profit

Value of calf production & sales

      $346.58

   305.38

 365.51

 

 

 

 

Direct Costs

 

 

 

       Feed and pasture, total

     $ 202.84

$ 210.83

  $ 177.36

            Protein, vitamin, mineral

     9.28

    9.76

    5.94

            Concentrates

   16.93

  17.48

  13.46

            Roughages

 121.08

133.28

108.23

            Pasture or range

   55.55

  50.31

  49.73

                  AUM’s per cow

       5.7

      5.6

      5.8

       Vet and supplies

   22.03

  23.87

  19.56

       Other direct expenses

   47.71

  55.97

  41.19

Total Direct Costs

     $ 272.58

$ 290.67

  $ 238.11

 

 

 

 

Overhead Costs

 

 

 

       Interest (non operating)

    $    16.59

$   18.59

 $   18.16

  Depreciation of buildings & equip.

   12.28

  14.80

 12.06

       Other overhead costs

   26.22

  26.94

 31.78

Total overhead costs

    $    55.09

$   60.33

 $   62.00

Total of all listed costs

    $  327.67

$ 351.00

 $ 300.11

Total listed cost per cwt. of production

    $    65.19

$   75.69

 $   59.33

Production & sales minus total listed costs

    $    18.91

$  (45.62)

 $   65.40

Net inventory change per cow**

    $  (51.00)

$  (84.90)

 $ (22.30)

Net return per cow

    $  (32.09)

$(130.52)

 $   43.10

  *Source:  North Dakota Farm Business Management Program, Region III Report, 1995-1999  
**Source:  Carrington Area Farm Business Management Program Report, 1995-1999

Total overhead costs for the two herd groups were very comparable with the high profit herds actually being $1.67 per cow higher than the low profit herds.  Total costs when converted over to a cost per cwt. of production greatly favored the high profit herds at $59.33 per cwt. while the low profit herds struggled with a much higher average cost of production at $75.69 per cwt.  When all production value and income from calves was combined with the total listed expenses, the high profit herds produced an average annual return, before net inventory change, of $65.40 per cow compared to the low profit herds which averaged a negative $(45.62) per cow over the same time period.  The combination of this increased income and decreased expense translated into an annual advantage of $111.02 per cow for the high profit herds.

The third major item of consideration when comparing high profit and low profit herds is what might be called net inventory change.  It is the net change of invested dollars due to the change in the value of the cow herds from such things as culling, death loss, sale of breeding stock, butchering, and insurance income from the loss of breeding stock.  This change in value, which is usually a negative number, is a non-cash expense that must be borne by the entire herd.  It is greatly influenced by such things as breeding stock purchase price and uninsured breeding stock death loss.  In order to assure that  all net inventory change was calculated from an invested dollar basis only, the net inventory change (at $18.38 less than the regional number)  was taken from the five-year average of Carrington Area Farm Business Management Program, as shown in Table 2, and combined with the income and expense data of Region III.  As the income and expense figures of both entities are comparable, and as the Carrington Area data made up a significant share of the regional database, this method of combining the data  provided the most verifiable picture of the profitability of the herds involved.

The annual average net inventory change for the high profit herds was ($22.30) while the low profit herds greatly exceeded this with a figure of (84.90), for an additional annual net inventory charge of $62.60 per cow.  When combined with the decreased income and increased expenses (Table 3), the total average annual net difference between high profit and low profit cow herds totaled $173.62 per cow.  This figure thus represents the annual difference in profitability between the average low profit and average high profit beef cow herds.  When viewed over a period of five years, this difference would then amount to a total of $868.10, a significant amount to any beef producer.

Table 3.  Summary of five-year beef cow performance for high profit herds compared to low profit herds.

Increase in value of production 

 

                                    $60.13

Decrease in total expenses

 

                                    $50.89

Decrease in net inventory change

 

                                    $62.60

Total annual economic advantage

                                  $173.62

In summary, the average high profit beef cow-calf producers show a distinct advantage in three areas.  They produced approximately $60.13 more in beef value while decreasing their listed expenses by $50.89 on a per cow basis.  The single largest expense difference is in the cost of total feed fed which is $33.47 higher for the low profit herds.  The third and greatest single difference between the two herd groups is what has been referred to as net inventory change, a non-cash expense, with the average low profit herds surpassing the average high profit herds by $62.60 per cow.

Implications

In order for low profit beef cow-calf producers to move into an area of higher profitability they should consider some basic changes in how they manage their beef cow herds.  Low profit producers need to take a real strong look at the investment they have per cow and the length of time their cows spend in the herd.  A goal for these producers would be to have approximately a $30.00 to $40.00 net inventory change per year, per cow, as a cost of doing business.  To insure higher profitability, these producers also need to increase the pounds weaned per exposed female.  A goal of 500 pounds would not be out of line for a traditional cow-calf operation.  The third aspect is that of expenses.  Those producers with low profit herds need to really look at what they spend their money on and in particular how much they spend to feed a beef cow for twelve months.  A feed cost goal of $180.00 to $200.00 per year, based on today’s feed prices, is reasonable. By addressing these three main areas, low profit beef cow-calf producers have the potential to raise their annual net profit by a minimum of $100.00 to $150.00 per cow and thus increase the total profitability of their farming or ranching operation.


Malting Barley Co-products or Wheat Midds in Corn Based Diets for Growing Yearling Steers

  V.L. Anderson and E.J. Bock
Carrington Research Extension Center
North Dakota State University

Introduction

Wheat and barley are the most common feed grains in the Northern Plains states.  Value added processing of these grains is increasing in order to generate more income for grain growers who cooperatively own some of the processing plants.  Barley is used to produce malt resulting in a palatable and nutritious co-product called sprouts.  Wheat is milled for flour or semolina resulting in an abundant supply of wheat middlings or midds.  Both feeds are useful for a wide range of livestock diets.  This trial compared these two co-product feeds in growing diets for feedlot steers when fed in combination with corn.

Materials and Methods

Forty-two steer calves were allotted to four pens at the Carrington Research Extension Center Livestock Unit and blocked by weight.  Steers were fed either barley malt sprout pellets and corn, or wheat midds and corn, with the rest of the diet consisting of alfalfa hay, corn silage, and an ionophore/mineral supplement.  Barley malt sprouts were included at 50%, 60%, and 80% of the pellet formulation for Periods 1, 2, and 3 respectively, with barley screenings making up the remainder.  Diets were balanced to meet the nutrient requirements of the growing steers (NRC, 1996) and had a concentrate  to roughage ratio of 61/39.  Steers were weighed on consecutive days at beginning and end of trial as well as every 28 days during the trial.  Steers were fed a totally mixed diet once per day in a fenceline bunk.  Steers were implanted with Ralgro prior to trial.

 

Table 1.  Nutrient content of barley pellets with 50%, 60%, and 80% malt sprouts; and wheat midds

 

 

Item

50% Malt Sprouts

60% Malt Sprouts

80% Malt Sprouts

Wheat

Midds

Dry matter, %

94.84

92.34

92.28

87.38

 

-------------------------Dry matter basis------------------------

Crude Protein, %

19.74

13.20

16.96

16.39

Acid Detergent Fiber, %

21.96

20.88

20.44

9.80

Neutral Detergent Fiber, %

52.52

49.58

49.11

35.91

Ash, %

6.46

8.42

6.16

4.41

Calcium, %

.19

.21

.15

.10

Phosphorus, %

.46

.33

.43

.75

Results and Discussion

Overall, steers fed the two different diets had similar dry matter intake.  However, the steers fed wheat midds had an 11% advantage in ADG, as well as 10% better feed efficiency, and a cost of gain that was $0.02 less than the steers fed barley malt sprouts.  In period 3, the steers fed barley malt sprouts most closely matched the performance of the steers fed wheat midds.    Barley malt sprouts and wheat midds are priced similarly at $64/ton and $60/ton respectively.  They are also comparable in price on a protein basis with barley malt sprouts equivalent to $0.18/lb. of protein and wheat midds at $0.195/lb. protein However, on the average, barley malt sprouts are higher in fiber, ash, and calcium, and lower in phosphorus and protein.  The higher fiber fraction suggests lower digestibility, which would explain the lower feed efficiency.  This, coupled with a slightly higher cost, leads to the increased cost/lb of gain.

Table 2.  Performance of steers fed barley pellets with 50%, 60%, and 80% malt sprouts; and wheat midds

Item

----------------Period 1------------

----------------Period 2---------------

 

50% Sprouts

Wheat Midds

60% Sprouts

Wheat Midds

Initial weight, lbs.

571.83

567.08

655.65

668.35

DMI, lbs.

17.12

17.32

18.84

18.93

ADG, lbs.

3.00

3.62

3.41

3.71

F/G, lbs.

5.71

4.79

5.52

5.11

Cost/lb. gain, $

0.18

0.14

0.16

0.14

 

 

 

 

----------------Period 3------------

----------------Overall----------------

 

80% Sprouts

Wheat Midds

Malt Sprouts

Wheat Midds

Initial weight, lbs.

751.13

772.1

 

 

DMI, lbs.

19.41

19.36

18.57

18.71

ADG, lbs.

2.75

2.85

3.09

3.43

F/G, lbs.

7.06

6.79

6.02

5.45

Cost/lb. gaina

0.20

0.18

0.17

0.15

acalculated with avg. feed prices:  barley malt sprouts $64/ton, wheat midds $60/ton, corn $2.00/bu, monensin/supplement $280/ton, alfalfa hay $60/ton, and corn silage $20/ton.

Implications

Barley malt sprouts appear to be a palatable, low-cost feedstuff that can be readily utilized in growing diets.  Performance and cost of gain were not as attractive as wheat midds, but it is still useful as a cost-effective energy and protein source.

Overall, both diets yielded results that were satisfactory for steers fed a growing diet.  More research may be needed in the area of the nutrient content of the barley pellets at various levels of malt sprouts to be able to match this feed component to the nutrient requirement of the animal. 


Abstract presented at the Canadian Society of Animal Science
July 18, 2000, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Effects of Tempering and a Yeast/Enzyme Mixture on Intake, Ruminal Fermentation, and In situ Disappearance in Steers Fed Barley-based Finishing Diets

A. E. Radunz, G. P. Lardy, V. L. Anderson, J. S. Caton, and M. L. Bauer
 North Dakota State University, Fargo

Four ruminal cannulated steers  (666 ± 26 kg initial BW) were used in 4 x 4 Latin square to evaluate tempering and a yeast/enzyme mixture (YEM) on intake, fermentation, and in situ disappearance of barley in steers fed a finishing diet. Treatments were arranged as 2 x 2 factorial; factors were barley processing (tempered-rolled, TRB; or dry-rolled, DRB) and YEM (with or without; Yea-Sacc 8417Ò, 9 g/d; FibrozymeÒ, 15 g/d). Diets, offered ad libitum twice daily, consisted of 80% barley, 10% corn silage, 5% wheat straw, and 5% supplement.  Diets were formulated to contain at least 12% CP, 0.70% Ca, 0.34% P, and 200 mg/kg monensin. Steers were adapted to diets for 9 d.  On d 10 to 14 intakes were measured.  DRB or TRB were incubated in situ, starting on d 12, for 48, 24, 16, 12, 8, 4, 2, and 0 h.  Ruminal fluid was collected and pH recorded at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 h post-feeding on d 13.  Barley hulls, DRB, and TRB were incubated with ruminal fluid, on d 14, to estimate in vitro digestion (IVDMD).  No difference was observed in DMI or ruminal pH (P > 0.20) among treatments. IVDMD was similar among substrates from each treatment (P > 0.09).  In situ DM disappearance rate (ISDMD) was greater (P < 0.05) for TRB than DRB, 0.107 h-1 and 0.092 h-1, respectively.  No difference (P > 0.90) was observed in ISDMD rate with addition of YEM.  An interaction existed between processing and YEM  (P < 0.001) with in situ ADF disappearance rate.  Processing did not affect ADF disappearance rate without YEM; however, ADF disappearance was faster for DRB than TRB with YEM.   Tempering improves DM digestion of barley; however, when YEM was fed, tempering results in slower ADF disappearance.

Key Words: Barley, Tempering, Cattle, Finishing, Metabolism

 

Evaluation of Temper Rolled Barley and a Yeast/Enzyme Supplement on the Performance and Carcass Traits of Growing and Finishing Feedlot Steers

  V. L. Anderson and Eric Bock
Carrington Research Extension Center
North Dakota State University

Abstract

A growing and finishing feedlot trial was conducted to evaluate tempering and a yeast/enzyme supplement in feedlot diets containing barley.   Five treatments were compared using 120 head (initial weight 797 lb) of preconditioned crossbred steers with three replicates per treatment and eight head per pen. Treatments were dry and temper rolled barley fed with and without a yeast/enzyme supplement and dry rolled corn.  Over all periods, dry matter intake was greater for steers fed temper rolled barley with the yeast/enzyme supplement and dry rolled corn compared to the other treatments (P<.10).   Both tempering and the yeast/enzyme supplement improved gains numerically.  Orthogonal contrasts indicate greater intake for corn than the pooled barley treatments.  There is also evidence of improved intake for tempered vs. dry barley treatments during finishing (P<.10).  Improved gain with yeast/enzyme supplements is also indicated by the orthogonal contrasts during the finishing periods.  During inclement spring weather with mud, snow, and rain, steers fed the yeast/enzyme treatment consumed 8.6% more dry matter resulting in a 6% increase in gain.   No effects were observed on feed efficiency.  Slaughter weight and fat thickness were the only carcass traits affected (P <.10)  by treatment.  Fat thickness was greatest (P <.10) for the dry rolled barley treatments compare to all others. 

It is apparent that tempering improved intake during some periods.  Adding a yeast/enzyme supplement had a positive effect during finishing.   Producers who feed barley should temper the grain before rolling.

Keywords: Barley, Tempering, Feedlot, Yeast, Enzyme.

Introduction

Feeding cattle in the Northern Plains has been proven to be biologically and economically competitive with other feeding areas in the country.  The decision of which grain(s) to feed is difficult in areas where both corn and barley are grown and they are priced competitively.  Developing new and better methods for feeding barley may support the creation of new livestock feeding operations based on barley.  Barley ferments faster than corn in the rumen and contains more crude protein (13.2% vs. 9%, NRC, 1996).  The protein in barley is more rapidly degraded in the rumen as well. 

Tempering, the addition of water to barley several hours prior to rolling increased feed intake by 5%, rate of gain by 8%, and feed efficiency by 2.5% (Hinman and Combs, 1983) for feedlot steers.  New yeast and enzyme products developed for high grain diets are of great interest for improving feed efficiency and overall animal performance but are generally untested.  Yeast may reduce lactic acid production, the cause of acidosis and laminitis.  A fiber-digesting enzyme offers potential to increase breakdown of dietary fiber.  Barley has not been evaluated with these natural feed additives. 

Tempering and the addition of a yeast/enzyme combination are simple processes that can easily be incorporated into routine feeding methods. 

Appreciation is expressed to the ND Barley Council, Alltech, Inc., and the ND State Board of Agricultural Research for supporting this study.  A companion study evaluating the effects of the same treatments on ruminal digestion is published elsewhere in this proceedings.  A dairy cow performance trial will be published under separate cover. 

Materials and Methods

A replicated research study was conducted with growing and finishing steer calves at the NDSU, Carrington Research Extension Center.  Steers (n=120) were weighed on two consecutive days and allotted randomly within weight classification (light, medium, and heavy) to one of five treatments and assigned to one of 15 pens at the start of the trial.  The five treatments were: 1) dry rolled barley (DRB); 2) temper rolled barley (TRB); 3) dry rolled barley with yeast/enzyme additives(DRBY; 4) temper rolled barley with yeast/enzyme additives (TRBY) and 5) dry rolled corn (DRC).  Temper rolled barley was processed by spraying approximately 10% water by weight onto dry barley while mixing in the feeder wagon.  After mixing for approximately 10 minutes, the barley was transferred to a holding tank and allowed to steep for approximately 16 hours prior to rolling.  Batches were processed two times per week.  Average dry matter of tempered barley was 82%.  The yeast product used in the study was Yea-Sacc 8417Ò and FibrozymeÒ was the enzyme both from Alltech, Inc., Nicholasville, KY.  Yeast was fed at 9 gm/hd daily and Fibrozyme added at 15 gm, the recommended rates.  Both ingredients were stored individually, weighed separately, and mixed with other supplements prior to adding to the feed wagon. 

Steers were fed a growing ration for 42 days with approximately 10 pounds of grain per head daily (Table 1).  Finishing diets (Table 2) were fed until slaughter (84 days).  Feed intake was adjusted daily based on bunk readings.  The totally mixed rations included chopped hay, corn silage, canola meal, and an ionophore and mineral supplement.  Feed efficiency was calculated based on feed intake and gain for each weigh period.  Carcass data was collected on all steers after a 24-hour chill at IBP Inc. Dakota City, NE. 

Statistical Analysis

Data were analyzed using general linear model procedures according to SAS (SAS, 1988).  Pen was the experimental unit for dietary comparison.  Individual animal data was used for carcass analysis.  Dependent variables were compared for each feeding period and for the growing and finishing phases.  Feed intake and gain were measured directly with feed efficiency calculated and compared.  Orthogonal contrasts were made for corn vs. barley, dry vs. temper, and yeast/enzyme vs. no yeast/enzyme.

Results and Discussion

Over all periods, steers fed DRC and TRBY consumed more dry matter (P <.10) at 25.98 lb/hd/d for DRC and 24.76 for TRBY than other treatments.  Intake for the other three treatments was 22.57, 22.55, and 22.52 for TRB, TRBY, and DRB, respectively.  Pooled comparison of all barley treatments vs. corn indicates increased intake for corn (P<.10) in spite of the equivalent intake for tempered barley with the yeast/enzyme supplement.  Inclement spring weather caused severe mud and wet conditions during periods 4 and 5 with intake by TRBY steers highest in period 5 at 27.52 lb/hd/day. Intake during the spring increased 8.6% for yeast/enzyme steers compared to no yeast enzyme and gain improved 6%.    Over all periods, average daily gain was numerically greater with tempered barley compared to dry barley.  Temper barley steers gained 3.48 lb/hd/day and dry barley steers gained 3.30.  The yeast/enzyme supplement improved gains numerically but not significantly (P >.10).  Overall, gains for DRC were greatest at 3.58 lb/hd/day followed closely by TRBY at 3.51, TRB at 3.44, DRBY at 3.32, and DRB at 3.28.    No differences were observed for feed efficiency.  Gain per unit of feed was greatest for TRB at .154 followed by DRBY at .151, DRB at .147, DRC at .146, and TRBY at .145.    Slaughter weight and fat thickness were the only carcass traits affected (P <.10)  by treatment.  TRBY steers were heaviest at slaughter at 1185 lbs. compared to DRC steers at 1166, DRBY at 1149, TRB at 1148, and DRB at 1122.  Fat thickness was greatest (P <.10) for the dry rolled barley treatments at .476 compared to.397 for DRC, .384 for TRB, and .376 for TRBY.  The increased fat thickness from dry barley further indicates potential economic returns from tempering grain.  Tempering grain also increased carcass value when fed to heifers (Nelson et al., 1993) but did not affect gain or feed efficiency.    Tempering barley is an inexpensive process that increases steer performance, improves carcass value and subsequently adds to net income.  Cold was not a problem for mixing, storing, or rolling the moistened grain.  Yeast and enzyme supplements appear to have some value in beef diets, especially with stressed animals or in high grain diets. Positive responses have been observed in other trials with enzyme treatments to improve fiber digestibility in barley based diets (Kruause et al., 1998) however a liquid spray on product increases complexity of managing the diet. Additional studies may be warranted with yeast and enzyme supplements to identify management practices or ration formulations that would elicit a more consistent or greater response. 

Implications

Feeders who dry roll grain should explore methods of tempering barley.  It is possible to assemble tempering equipment using insulated water sources, augers, mixer wagons, holding bins, and surge tanks to mix and store a days supply of grain.

References

Hinman, D.D and J. J. Combs. 1983. Tempered vs. dry rolled barley.  University of Idaho Research Update Progress Report No. 7. 

Krause, M. K. A. Beauchemin, L. M. Rode, B. I. Farr, and P. Norgaard. 1998. Fibrolytic enzyme treatment of barley grain and source of forage in high-grain diets fed to growing cattle.  J. Anim. Sci. 76:2912-2920.

Nelson, J.L., D. G. Landblom, and L.J. Johnson. 1993. Tempered barley for feeding cattle.  Beef Cattle and Range Research Report, NDSU-ARS, p 58-65.

NRC. 1996.  Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle.  National Acadamy Press, Washington, D.C.

Table 1. Growing diet of steers fed temper vs. dry rolled barley with and without a yeast-enzyme cocktail

Item

  Dry Rolled Barley

Temper Rolled Barley

Dry Rolled Barley w/YstEnz

Temper Rolled Barley w/YstEnz

Dry Rolled Corn

Ration DM, %

68.49

68.45

68.22

68.33

68.74

 

 

----------------------------DM basis---------------------------

Barley, %

54.47

54.23

54.38

54.60

0

Corn, %

0

0

0

0

47.68

Corn Silage, %

22.63

22.67

22.76

22.64

22.52

Ch. Hay, %

12.58

12.70

12.44

12.48

12.72

Canola Meal, %

8.02

8.05

8.02

8.00

14.89

Supplement, %*

2.30

2.35

2.40

2.28

2.19

* Ionophore supplement contained 300mg Rumensin/hd/day

 

 

Table 2. Finishing diet of steers fed temper vs. dry rolled barley with and without a yeast-enzyme cocktail

Item Dry Rolled Barley Temper Rolled Barley Dry Rolled Barley w/ YstEnz Temper Rolled Barley w/ YstEnz Dry Rolled Corn

 

DM, %

74.84

74.83

74.90

73.67

74.83

 

 

 

-------------------------DM basis---------------------------------

 

Barley, %

73.63

73.73

73.87

77.32

0

 

Corn, %

0

0

0

0

70.22

 

Corn Silage, %

13.03

13.05

13.02

10.13

13.27

 

Ch. Hay, %

8.16

8.19

8.18

7.76

8.25

 

Canola Meal, %

2.90

2.86

2.80

2.76

6.36

 

Supplement*, %

2.18

2.17

2.13

2.03

1.90

* Ionophore supplement contained 300mg RumensinÒ/hd/day

 

Table 3. Performance of steers fed temper vs. dry rolled barley with and without a yeast-enzyme cocktail

 

Item

Dry Rolled Barley

Temper Rolled Barley

Dry Rolled Barley W/YstEnz

Temper Rolled Barley W/YstEnz

  Dry Rolled Corn

SE

P value

Dry Matter Intake, lb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Period 1

20.37

20.13

19.97

21.44

21.21

.53

.32

 

   Period 2

23.16

22.22

21.88

24.06

24.94

.98

.25

 

   Period 3

23.19

24.16

23.40

25.56

26.26

.67

.04

 

   Period 4

23.43

25.12

23.72

25.21

26.48

1.13

.38

 

   Period 5

22.47

21.24

23.80

27.52

26.50

.98

.01

 

   Growing  (P1-2)

21.77

21.18

20.93

22.75

23.08

.69

.22

 

   Finishing  (P3-5)

23.03

23.51

23.64

26.10

26.41

.83

.06

 

   Overall

22.52

22.57

22.55

24.76

25.08

.69

.07

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Daily Gain, lb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Period 1

4.35

4.17

4.20

4.47

4.43

.23

.86

 

   Period 2

4.09

4.08

4.26

3.49

4.79

.28

.14

 

   Period 3

4.03

4.33

4.00

4.60

4.18

.23

.49

 

   Period 4

2.39

2.49

2.57

2.72

2.59

.36

.98

 

   Period 5

1.53

2.14

1.56

2.25

1.90

.28

.39

 

   Growing  (P1-2)

4.22

4.13

4.22

3.98

4.61

.17

.23

 

   Finishing  (P3-5)

2.65

2.98

2.71

3.19

2.89

.12

.12

 

   Overall

3.28

3.44

3.32

3.51

3.58

.10

.07

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gain per unit Feed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Period 1

.214

.208

.211

.209

.209

.013

.99

 

   Period 2

.177

.185

.199

.145

.192

.016

.35

 

   Period 3

.174

.180

.171

.187

.159

.011

.71

 

   Period 4

.102

.099

.108

.109

.097

.014

.96

 

   Period 5

.068

.101

.066

.082

.073

.014

.41

 

   Growing  (P1-2)

.196

.196

.205

.177

.200

.012

.68

 

   Finishing  (P3-5)

.115

.127

.115

.124

.110

.017

.53

 

   Overall

.147

.154

.151

.145

.146

.007

.07

 

   

Table 5. Orthogonal contrasts ( P values) for comparisons of pooled treatments

  Item

Period

  Corn vs. Barley

Dry vs. Temper

No yst/enz vs. yst/enz

Dry matter intake

Period 1

.25

.44

.30

 

Period 2

.09

.79

.57

 

Period 3

.02

.29

.06

 

Period 4

.13

.87

.22

 

Period 5

.04

.01

.26

 

Growing

.10

.63

.42

 

Finishing

.04

.10

.13

 

Overall

.03

.17

.16

Average daily gain

Period 1

.62

.77

.84

 

Period 2

.03

.50

.22

 

Period 3

.89

.64

.09

 

Period 4

.91

.61

.75

 

Period 5

.93

.81

.06

 

Growing

.04

.71

.37

 

Finishing

.97

.35

.01

 

Overall

.11

.63

.12

Gain per feed

Period 1

.92

.94

.74

 

Period 2

.41

.59

.22

 

Period 3

.22

.91

.53

 

Period 4

.64

.59

.91

 

Period 5

.68

.48

.12

 

Growing

.61

.69

.31

 

Finishing

.25

.86

.21

 

Overall

.68

.70

.91

 

Table 6. Carcass traits of steers fed temper vs. dry rolled barley with and without a yeast-enzyme cocktail

 

Item Dry Rolled Barley Temper Rolled Barley Dry Rolled Barley w/ YstEnz Temper Rolled Barley w/ YstEnz Dry Rolled Corn SE P Value

Slaughter Wt. lb.

1122

1148

1149

1185

1166

14.73

.05

Hot Carc. Wt, lb.

707.41

722.52

717.79

741.91

726.29

9.97

.18

Dressing Percent

63.02

62.98

62.49

62.62

62.25

.35

.49

Marbling Score*

412

406

414

410

414

11.39

.99

Fat Thickness, in

.476

.384

.476

.367

.397

.03

.02

Rib Eye, sq. in

12.33

12.40

12.33

12.30

12.45

.17

.97

KPH, %

2.45

2.52

2.54

2.57

2.42

.05

.13

Yield Grade**

2.92

2.74

2.56

2.82

2.75

.11

.22

*401-500= low choice

** Measure of overall fatness of carcass with 1=very lean and 5=very fat.

 

Effects of Processing Field Peas in Steer Grower Diets

Eric Bock
North Dakota State University

Introduction

Field peas (Pisum savitum) are a cool-season annual legume with weak stems and a viney habit.  They do best on loamy well-drained soils with a pH of 5.5 to 7 and moderate fertility.  They tolerate temperatures down to 10° F and reach maturity 100 days after emergence when planted as a spring annual.  Field peas also fit well into small-grain rotations.  It is estimated that peas fix 45 to 70 lbs. of nitrogen per acre.

Field peas are a useful crop as they can be used for seed, forage, and as a green manure.  It also has the ability to smother weeds if planted with oats or barley.  Field peas make an excellent feed when grown alone or with cereal grains like barley and oats.  Peas are a versatile feed and can be used in swine, poultry, dairy, and beef rations.  They are best utilized when the nutrient profile of peas (Table 1) closely matches the need for dietary protein and energy in the animal.

Table 1.  Nutrient content of field peas

 

 

Item

-------Field Peas-------

Dry matter, %

87.9

 

---Dry matter basis---

Crude Protein, %

21.09

Ash, %

3.04

Acid Detergent Fiber, %

6.87

Neutral Detergent Fiber, %

33.94

Calcium, %

.086

Phosphorus, %

.55

Field peas are high in protein compared with most feed grains.  The protein of peas is rapidly digested by ruminant animals.  Ruminal degradation rates of pea protein have been found to be similar to soybean meal, which may be advantageous in providing a more sustained release of nitrogen needed for rumen microbial growth. The starch, however, degrades slowly.  This is significant, as it would help to control rumen pH, which is important in animals that are fed large amounts of grain.  Therefore, there does not seem to be a limit on the amount of peas that can be included in rations.  Also, the energy content of field peas has been found to be similar to corn and wheat.

Field peas appear to be a very cost effective feed ingredient from both a protein and energy standpoint.  When compared to a traditional corn/soybean mix (70/30), field peas would be 28% less expensive to feed and would have equal protein and higher energy (assuming corn at $1.80/bu. and 10% CP, soybean meal at $185/ton and 45% CP, and field peas at $2.15/bu. and 21% CP).

This report is the result of an 84-day study on the effects of processing field peas in steer grower diets.  As you will see, peas are an excellent source of rumen degradable protein and energy for growing diets. 

Materials and Methods

Thirty crossbred steers (662.2 ± 33 lb) fed with electronic headgates were used to evaluate the effects of processing field peas (var. Profi) in grower diets.  Calves were stratified by weight and allotted randomly to one of three treatments.  Treatments included peas fed ground, rolled, or whole; average particle size was 1/16 in., .1/8 in., and 1/4 in., respectively.  The ground peas were processed using a hammer mill with an 11/8 inch screen.  Rolled peas were processed using a single-stage roller mill.  Diets were formulated to contain 41.5% corn silage, 40% field peas, 15% alfalfa hay, and 3.5% supplement on a dry matter basis.  Diets were formulated to be adequate in metabolizable and rumen degradable protein, and to contain 15% crude protein, .5% calcium, .3% phosphorus, 25g/ton monensin, and trace minerals and vitamins to meet NRC (1996) recommendations.  The supplement contained xylose treated soybean meal to provide adequate metabolizable protein. Calves were fed ad libitum with 28-day weigh intervals.  Beginning and final weights were the average of three consecutive days fed at 2% BW.  Weekly orts were collected, weighed and sub-sampled.  Linear and quadratic contrasts were used to analyze the effect of pea particle size. 

Results and Discussion

Steers fed whole and ground peas had higher (P = .04; quadratic) average daily gains and final weights (Table 2).  However, no difference was detected in daily dry matter intake (P > .38) when expressed as lb/day or percentage of body weight. 

From visual observation, it appeared that steers fed field peas tend to chew more thoroughly then steers fed other cereal grains.  Also, the fecal matter appeared to have very few pieces of whole or cracked field peas, which would suggest that the peas were very digestible. 

This study indicates that processing does not appear to improve utilization of field peas when fed in a grower diet.

Table 1. Performance of steers fed ground, rolled or whole peas.

 

 

 

Item

---------Treatment---------

----------Contrast-----------

 

Ground

Rolled

Whole

SEM

Linear

Quadratic

Weight, lb

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Initial

662

660

664

33

.96

.95

     Finala

966

946

977

11

.42

.04

DMI

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Lb/daya

21.7

21.5

22.1

.4

.49

.39

     %BWa

2.68

2.68

2.71

.05

.63

.74

ADG, lb/daya

3.61

3.37

3.74

.11

.42

.04

Feed/Gaina

5.99

6.33

5.92

.5

.72

.10

Cost/lb. gainb

$0.21

$0.23

$0.19

 

 

 

aInitial weight used as a covariate (P< .03)

bField peas at $2.15/bu., corn silage at $20/ton, alfalfa at $52/ton, supplement at $245/ton, and rolling and grinding at $20/ton.

Implications

Field peas appear to be a good source of both protein and energy for growing steers.  Previous research has shown that they can be competitive with other feed grains on a cost basis without sacrificing performance.

 

A Comparison of Corn/midds, Barley, and Corn in Addition to Potato Co-product in Finishing Steer Diets
Progress Report

E. J. Bock and V. L. Anderson
Carrington Research Extension Center
North Dakota State University

Introduction

The North Dakota potato industry has developed to a point where the disposal of its co-products is a serious problem.  The disposal options are: landfill, land application, or livestock.  Ruminant livestock have the capacity to consume relatively large amounts of potato co-product in a variety of forms and moisture levels.  Potato co-products contain substantial amounts of energy in the form of starch, but are low in fiber.  Current potato processing methods employ steaming versus alkali peeling, which yields a nutritionally different co-product than was available before.

Barley has been an under-utilized energy source for many years.  Recent research has shown it to have energy levels similar to corn as well as higher protein.  The availability of barley in the same area where potatoes are processed also makes it an attractive complement.  This trial compared the differences in performance between steers fed three different grain sources in addition to the potato co-product.

Materials and Methods

One hundred-twenty steers were backgrounded for 56 days at the Carrington Research Center and then allotted to one of three treatments of corn/midds, barley, or corn, with four pens per treatment.  Steers were implanted with Ralgro and weighed at beginning and end of trial.  Diets were formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of growing steers (NRC, 1996) and have a concentrate/roughage ratio of 90/10.  The potato co-product consisted of equal amounts of fries, peels, and filter cake and made up 23% of the diet dry matter.  Steers were fed to appetite once daily in a fenceline bunk.

Table 1.  Diets for finishing steers

 

Item

Corn/Midds

Barley

Corn

 

-----------------------------Lbs/hd/day as fed-----------------------------

Corn

9.86

0

17.69

Midds

9.86

0

0

Barley

0

17.96

0

Potato co-product

26.83

26.57

27.02

Alfalfa

2.68

3

3

Canola Meal

0

0

1.5

Supplement

.62

.62

.62

 

Table 2.  Performance of steers fed corn/midds, barley, or corn with potato waste

 

Item

Corn/Midds

Barley

Corn

 

 

 

 

DMI, lbs.

25.99

25.12

25.75

ADG, lbs.

3.76

3.68

3.88

Feed/Gain, lbs.

6.91

6.83

6.64

Final Weight, lbs.

1249

1243

1273

Cost/lb. gain, $a

$0.23

$0.20

$0.24

aIngredient costs- Rumensin: $300/ton, Mineral: $200/ton, Limestone: $100/ton, Wheat Midds: $60/ton, Corn: $1.85/bu., Barley: $1.35/bu., Canola Meal: $100/ton, Alfalfa: $50/ton, Potato co-product: $7.50/ton

Results and Discussion

All three treatments achieved similar performance with the main difference being cost/lb. of gain.  The steers fed corn did have a slight advantage in feed/gain and ADG over the barley and corn/midds treatments.  However, they also had the highest cost/lb. of gain.  It is important to keep in mind that a change in commodity prices will change the cost of gain as well.  Carcass data was not available at the current time but will be available in a future release.

Conclusion

It appears that potato co-product is a high-quality feed source for finishing steers.  All three treatments had satisfactory weight gains and feed conversion.  This product is economical to feed and is very palatable. 

Feeding barley with potato waste appears to be more cost-effective than feeding corn/midds or corn.  The low price of feed barley and consequently the lower cost/lb. of gain offset the slight decrease in performance.


Identification of Fast Growing Genetics
North Dakota Winter Show Steer Classic Pen Division Feedout Project

Karl Hoppe, Russ Danielson, Dale Hildebrant
North Dakota State University Extension Service, Carrington; NDSU Animal and Range Sciences Department, Fargo; and North Dakota Winter Show, Valley City

Abstract

Superior cattle genetics are necessary to remain competitive with other livestock species.   A feedout project , Performance Steer Classic - Pen Division Feedout competition, was developed to identify superior beef steer calves.   Cattle consigned to the feedout project averaged 670.2 pounds upon delivery to the Carrington Research Extension Center Livestock Unit on October 1, 1999.  After a 152-day feeding period with no death loss, cattle averaged 1150.65 pounds (shrunk weight).  Average daily feed intake per head, as fed, was 26.39 pounds while pounds of feed required per pound of gain were 8.35.  Diet dry matter was 80%.  Overall, the calves averaged 363 days of age and weighed 1166.3 pounds per head at harvest.   Overall pen average daily gain was 3.52 while weight per day of age was 3.22.  Retail value averaged $1152.47 per head.  Retail product value per day of age averaged $3.18 per head. Exceptional average daily gain, weight per day of age, retail product value and uniformity can be found in beef herds.

Introduction

Superior cattle genetics are necessary to remain competitive with other livestock species.    Identification of cattle with excellent feedlot performance and carcass characteristics will be required for future business growth.  Since fast growing calves can be harvested at 12 months of age with excellent feedlot performance, recognizing their carcass characteristics is needed.  A feedlot feedout contest was developed for North Dakota cattle producers interested in understanding the value of their cowherd genetics

Materials and Methods

In conjunction with the North Dakota Winter Show, a Performance Steer Classic - Pen Division competition was developed for multiple consignments of three or four steer calves. After a 152-day feeding period where calves were fed in a common pen, the calves were exhibited in groups of three at the ND Winter Show and then harvested for collecting carcass data.  Cattle groups were ranked based on feedlot and carcass performance.

Calves consigned to the contest were required to have a minimum of 3.0 weight per day of age at delivery to the feedlot and be born between January 1 and April 30, 1999.  Steers must weigh an average of 1050 pounds at the end of the feeding period on March 1, 2000, to be included in the competition.   Calves were ultrasounded for backfat thickness, ribeye area and marbling prior to an open house on February 10, 2000, at the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center Livestock Unit, Carrington, ND.  During the open house, the owners selected three calves for the pen-of -three competition. 

Ranking in the pen competition was based on the best score obtained by the pen-of-three steers.  Scores were determined by weight per day of age (25% of score), average daily gain on test (25% of score), retail product value per day of age (40% of score), and pen uniformity index based on variation within the pen for retail product (10% of score).  The ND Winter Show provided cash awards for the top five placing pens of steers.

Steers were not implanted during the feedout project.  However, steers may have been implanted before delivery to the feedlot.  Calves were vaccinated for clostridials, 4-way vaccine including BVD, IBR, PI3 and BRSV and deparasitized with Cydectin (provided by Fort Dodge Animal Health).  An intranasal PI3 vaccine was also provided upon arrival to the feedyard.  Calves were quickly adapted to a corn-based finishing diet with 12% crude protein, rumensin and tylosin.  Diet dry matter was 80%.

Immediately after exhibit at the ND Winter Show, steers were shipped to, harvested and carcass information collected at IBP, Dakota City, NE.

All feedlot, carcass and scoring information was provided to the consignors.  An open house and exhibition at the ND Winter Show provided consignors and other cattle producers the opportunity to visually compare cattle against weights and ultrasound measurements.

Results and Discussion

Cattle consigned to the feedout project averaged 670.2 pounds upon delivery to the Carrington Research Extension Center Livestock Unit on October 1, 1999.  After a 152-day feeding period with no death loss, cattle averaged 1150.65 pounds (shrunk weight).  Average daily feed intake per head was 26.39 pounds, as fed basis, and 21.11 pounds, dry matter basis.  Pounds of feed required per pound of gain were 8.35, as fed basis, and 6.68 pounds, dry matter basis.

Overall feed cost per pound of gain was $0.275.  Overall yardage cost per pound of gain was $0.085.  Combined cost per pound of gain including feed, yardage, veterinary, trucking and other expenses except interest was $0.421.

Of the 42 head of cattle consigned, two head were not harvested or carcass information collected due to individual weights less than 950 pounds on March 1, 2000.  Two pens were disqualified from the contest due to either light weight or average weight per day of age less than 3.00 pounds.  

Carcass value per cwt was calculated by using the actual base carcass price for March 2, 2000, plus premium or discounts.   Percent retail product value was calculated as 0.825 - (calculated yield grade * 0.05).  Retail product value was calculated as carcass weight, lb. * percent retail product * ((carcass value per cwt /100)/ retail product yield) / retail product markup) where retail product yield = 0.65, retail product markup = 0.75.

Results from the calves selected for the pen-of-three competition are listed in Table 1.  Overall, the calves averaged 363 days of age and weighed 1166.3 pounds per head at harvest.   Overall pen average daily gain was 3.52 while weight per day of age was 3.22.  Retail value averaged $1152.47 per head.  Retail product value per day of age averaged $3.18 per head.

Although retail product value is very important, the pen with the highest average retail product value per day of age did not place first.  Instead the pen with the highest uniformity, cattle with similar retail product value, placed higher.  This infers that while exceptional steers are valuable, having multiple exceptional steers is more valuable.

Implications

Cattle bred for superior feedlot performance and carcass characteristics are valuable.  Comparing these cattle to contemporary groups provides more insight into calf value since cattle were fed and harvested as a group.  Exceptional average daily gain, weight per day of age, retail product value and uniformity can be found in beef herds.

Affiliation of coauthors and non-CREC staff:  R. Danielson, Professor, NDSU Associate Professor, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, D. Hildebrant, Manager, ND Winter Show

 

Table 1.  Feeding performance of fast gaining calves.

 

 

 

 

 

Pen

Pen

 

Pen

Pen

Pen

Pen

Average

Retail

 

Average

Average

Feedlot

Average

Retail

product

 

Birth

Calf weight

Average

Weight per

Product

value/day

Placing

Date

3/1/00

Daily Gain

Day of Age

Value

of age

1

25-Mar-99

1,216.92

3.85

3.56

$ 1,090.07

$ 3.19

2

10-Feb-99

1,304.00

3.58

3.39

$ 1,301.18

$ 3.39

3

18-Apr-99

1,110.50

3.83

3.49

$ 1,062.68

$ 3.34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

17-Feb-99

1,381.83

3.69

3.66

$ 1,326.48

$ 3.51

5

16-Mar-99

1,170.00

3.50

3.34

$ 1,187.21

$ 3.39

6

22-Feb-99

1,210.25

3.31

3.25

$ 1,147.83

$ 3.08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

22-Feb-99

1,267.75

3.62

3.40

$ 1,224.01

$ 3.28

8

17-Jan-99

1,329.08

3.54

3.25

$ 1,170.86

$ 2.86

9

17-Feb-99

1,218.00

3.35

3.23

$ 1,105.12

$ 2.93

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pen disqualified

from contest

22-Mar-99

1,051.42

3.26

3.05

$    944.71

$ 2.74

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pen disqualified

from contest

6-Apr-99

1,083.75

3.44

3.29

$ 1,099.34

$ 3.23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average

5-Mar-99

1,166.3

3.52

3.22

$ 1,152.47

$ 3.18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard deviation

26.9

104.15

0.1982

0.1710

109.1953

0.24554

 

A Recap on Two Years of Assessing Waste Management Systems for Livestock Operations

Scott Birchall, Livestock Waste Management Specialist
Carrington Research Extension Center

NDSU’s Livestock Waste Management and Technical Information program was initiated early in 1998 to offer producers guidance on whether their manure and runoff management system meets the requirements of state and federal regulations and, if not, suggest suitable options for upgrading that system.  Since then, over 70 livestock producers have requested an on-farm visit.

While most producers are concerned about being good environmental stewards, many are apprehensive that asking agency staff to interpret the regulations for their animal feeding operation will make them a target for further scrutiny.  This is an unfortunate, and unnecessary, situation.  Sources of information like extension publications and agency web sites are available that allow producers to learn more about the rules for animal feeding operations without being identified.  One of the reasons that NDSU’s Livestock Waste Management and Technical Information program is available is to provide confidential advice to producers with any follow-up actions being voluntary.

The objective of this review is to summarize the most common challenges that have been found during the on-farm visits so that others may better assess their own situation.  These challenges are listed in order of emphasis on the part of the producer:

·        Uncontrolled runoff from uncovered feeding areas

·        Needing technical assistance to plan a new waste management system

·        Lack of a nutrient management plan

·        The operation has outgrown its waste management system

·        Poor drainage in pens

·        No “approval to operate”

Uncontrolled runoff from uncovered feeding areas

North Dakota regulations require that runoff from feeding areas (those areas with a concentration of animals and/or manure such that vegetation is not present) be kept out of waters (groundwater, rivers, lakes, creeks, drainage ways, wetlands).  Runoff from feeding areas will carry manure, and the nutrients and pathogens from it, off site and may pollute the body of water that it enters.  This means that the runoff from feeding areas has to be controlled and isolated from clean runoff – usually by means of diversion banks and a storage pond or a bermed infiltration area.

In some cases, the feeding area is so far from any receiving waters that the risk of a violation is small.  However, it is impossible to give anyone an assurance that they will not have a problem in the future, so most operations require some type of runoff control structures to protect their long-term viability.

Needing technical assistance to plan a new waste management system

The second most common request for assistance has been from producers seeking help in planning a new or expanding operation and the waste management system that will be required along with it.  While NDSU is able to offer producers help in developing a plan for a waste management system, detailed plans for construction are typically prepared by NRCS, the South-Central RCD BMP Team or private consultants.  In fact, anyone planning an operation with more than 1000 Animal Units (one Animal Unit is equivalent to 1000 pounds live weight) will need to have their plans prepared by a consultant with Professional Engineer certification.

Lack of a nutrient management plan

Many producers have recognized that State and Federal regulatory agencies will be placing more emphasis on manure nutrient management and are starting to develop written manure application plans.  Manure application plans demonstrate that the manure from a livestock operation is being utilized without degradation of soil or water resources.  Land application of manure remains the most cost effective way to utilize manure nutrients but regulatory requirements will be encouraging producers to plan application rates according to crop requirements and keeping records of the amount of manure spread and of which fields receive those applications.

The operation has outgrown its waste management system

North Dakota livestock inventories per farm continue to increase.  In the 20 years between 1978 and 1998, cattle (beef and dairy) numbers increased from 93 to 127 head per farm on average while swine numbers increased from 67 to 235 head per farm.  Some older manure management systems no longer have the capacity to handle the increase in the volume of manure or runoff produced.  Note that state regulations require that the handling system provide a minimum of 6 months storage so that manure or runoff does not have to be distributed during winter months.

Poor drainage in pens

Beef and dairy producers with cattle in uncovered lots are very aware of the problems caused by poor drainage (reduced performance, limited vehicle access, increased odor generation etc).  Ensuring adequate drainage is much easier to achieve during pen construction than afterwards, but even in existing pens, there are some options.  Placing mounds in pens, more frequent manure removal and pen surface maintenance all help alleviate drainage problems.  Unfortunately, some sites are too flat (<2%) to ensure adequate drainage and improving the pen surface with geotextile and gravel, coal ash or even concrete may be necessary.

Some operations have increased the amount of pen space per animal to reduce the impact of muddy pens.  This is a poor solution as the amount of runoff that has to be controlled, and the cost of the waste management system, will increase.  The Mid West Plan Service has recommendations on minimum housing requirements.

No “approval to operate”

The North Dakota Department of Health requires certain livestock feeding operations to have an “approval to operate” so they can fulfill their responsibilities in protecting water and air resources.  Larger operations (those with more than 200 Animal Units) and those causing, or likely to cause, pollution need to obtain the “approval to operate”.  The approval to operate allows the Department of Health to review manure and runoff management plans so your investment in the operation is not compromised by environmental challenges.  There are operations in the state that meet the criteria requiring a permit and do not have one.  Those operators need to be aware that the general public will not be satisfied that the state’s natural resources are being protected until the majority of livestock producers are complying with all regulatory requirements.

Summary

After two years of visiting livestock operations across North Dakota, the most important message I can offer is that environmental regulations will not become any less stringent and that finding out how your operation measures up is the first step toward satisfying the public’s expectations.  Some operations may only have to document practices that they already have in place, for example developing a manure nutrient management plan or applying for an approval to operate.  Other producers, needing to make modifications to provide runoff storage ponds or infiltration areas, will have to seek some technical help as they begin developing their plans.

References

Birchall, S. (2000)  “A Survey of Manure Management Practices in North Dakota.”  NDSU Extension Service, Extension Report No. 61.

Mid West Plan Service. (1987)  Beef Housing and Equipment Handbook.  MWPS-6

   

Demonstration of Lignite Ash for Feedlot Surfaces – Project Update

Scott Birchall, Livestock Waste Management Specialist
Carrington Research Extension Center - NDSU

A new research project at the Carrington Research Extension Center is using coal combustion byproducts (CCBs) from power utilities in North Dakota and Minnesota in an attempt to improve feedlot conditions.  Research from other states such as Texas, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Ohio suggests that coal combustion byproducts (CCBs) can be used to form a stronger, more durable surface in feedlot pens than can be obtained using only the original soil.  The Carrington project will measure the impact of several different ash treatments on pen conditions (surface density and compressive strength, maintenance requirements etc).  The project will monitor ground water and surface runoff for environmental impacts and also investigate if ash treatments can limit the amount of leaching of nutrients under feeding areas.

Types of ash

Most coal-fired power plants produce a lightweight, fine ash called fly ash and a coarser ash called bottom ash.  It is important to note however, that the type of ash formed, and hence it’s properties and potential uses, can vary depending both on the source of the coal and the type of power plant that produced it.

Fly ash is made up of fine, spherical particles and moves through the coal combustion system with the exhaust gases before being screened out of the airstream for utilization or disposal. The volume of fly ash produced at a typical plant is usually greater than the bottom ash.  Fly ash can often be used in construction and engineering applications such as concrete and concrete products, engineered fills, road-building applications, and grouts.

Fly ash is a pozzolan.  That means that it “sets up” when mixed with a source of calcium and water.  Some fly ash is cementitious.  A cementitious material sets up when only water is added.  Most fly ash in North Dakota and the surrounding states appear to exhibit both pozzolanic and cementitious properties – these materials are called reactive fly ashes.  Reactive fly ashes can be used in applications where cementious properties are desirable.

Bottom ash is agglomerated ash particles that are too large to be carried away in the flue gases and impinge on the boiler walls or fall through open grates to an ash hopper at the bottom of the boiler. Bottom ash is typically gray to black in color, is quite angular, and has a porous surface structure.  Bottom ash looks like a blend of sand and coarse aggregate and can be used as an aggregate.

While bottom ash does not set up like fly ash, it can be used to improve wet weather access in those areas that are not subject to frequent mechanical scraping, for example, feed roads and alleyways.

Ash Treatments

This project is using three broad categories of ash treatment in and around the feedlot:

Soil stabilization of entire pen surfaces

Soil stabilization is a means of improving the properties of soil so that it performs better as a feedlot surface.  Soil stabilization can make a soil stronger, more durable, and less permeable.  Soil stabilization can be accomplished by mechanically compacting the soil or by the addition of materials like cement, lime or fly ash. Fly ash is well suited for soil stabilization as the results are comparable to those achieved through use of cement or lime and fly ash is generally more economical.  Treating the pen surface with fly ash will improve its ability to withstand saturated conditions and help prevent deep areas of mud from forming.

Fly ash-bottom ash mixtures for feed bunk and waterer aprons

Because most fly ash in our region is cementitious, it is proposed to use a mixture of fly ash and bottom ash to produce a concrete-like surface for feeding and watering areas of the feedlot.  This “stiff” mixture of fly ash, bottom ash, and water will be mixed prior to placement.  After the mixture is placed at the feedlot, it will be leveled and compacted to provide a strong durable surface.

Bottom ash surfacing on feed roads

Bottom ash will be used to surface driveways and feed roads in the same manner as other aggregates.  Bottom ash provides good drainage in this type of application because of the gradation of the material.

Progress to date

Laboratory experiments have been completed to evaluate the performance of fly ash-soil mixtures for stabilized soil feedlot surfaces.  The fly ash that will be used in this project will come from four coal-fired power plants:

Utility Company

Power Station

Location

Great River Energy

Coal Creek Station

Underwood, ND

Otter Tail Power Co.

Coyote Station

Beulah, ND

Otter Tail Power Co.

Hoot Lake Station

Fergus Falls, MN

Great River Energy

Stanton Station

Stanton, ND

Preliminary results from this laboratory testing indicate that soil stabilized with fly ash and compacted has improved strength over compacted soil without amendment:

Sample evaluated

Moisture Content Range (%)

Dry Density Range (lbs/ft3)

Strength Range (psi)

Soil

9 - 12

113 - 120

50 - 66

Fly ash (25%) soil mixture

8 - 12

105 - 117

94 – 227

(after 14 days)

Fly ash (18%) soil mixture

9 - 12

102 - 119

173 – 285

(after 14 days)

In June 2000, Hoot Lake fly ash was placed in four pens (numbers 9 through 12) in the Carrington Research Extension Center’s Bison feeding research facility.  The various treatments are listed below:

Pen

Ash Addition (%)

Mixing

Compaction

9

12

Disc

Tractor

10

12

Disc

Rubber-tire compactor

11

16

Disc + Rototiller

Rubber-tire compactor

12

22

Disc + Rototiller

Tractor

Following placement, nuclear density testing indicated compaction was achieved at 89% to 96% of maximum and that moisture levels ranged from 7.5% to 9.5%.  The higher compaction levels were associated with moisture contents of approximately 8.5%.

Future work

Pens 13 through 16 will receive additions of fly ash from the Stanton Station in July.  The ash addition rates, mixing techniques, and compaction techniques will be similar to those used in the Hoot Lake ash placement.  Additional pens demonstrating Coal Creek Station and Coyote Station fly ash stabilized soils will be completed later in the year.  Also during 2000, placement activities are planned for the experimental concrete-like mix of fly ash, bottom ash, and water.  Laboratory work is underway to develop suitable mix designs for this material.

In 2001, the project team plans to demonstrate ash use at up to three private feedlot operations at other locations throughout North Dakota.

Project participants

Many groups are participating in this demonstration effort.  Financial support has been provided by Great River Energy, Otter Tail Power Company, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The technical project team includes professional staff from the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center, the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center, and En-Rock, Inc.

North Dakota Barley Feeders, LLLP Proposes to Add Value to ND Commodities

Dr. Vern Anderson and Audie Baca
Carrington Research Extension Center and Butts Feedyard

We are all aware of the abundance of undervalued feeds in North Dakota from increased acres of crops (corn, wheat, barley, potatoes, sugar beets), grains infected with disease (barley and wheat), increased processing capability for some grains (corn, wheat, barley) and new crops grown in sustainable rotations (field peas, hulless oats, and grain sorghum).  There are also significant amounts of several different oilseed meals (canola, sunflower, soybean, crambe, linseed, and safflower) from a number of processing plants.  In addition, abundant and inexpensive forages from legumes (alfalfa), residues (small grain and corn) and rotation crops are available.  The 5-year price outlook for grains is not very exciting according to predictions published by FAPRI, an agricultural economics organization at Iowa State University.

North Dakota is known for its progressive beef breeding programs and the high quality feeder cattle produced.  Currently, we export a high percentage of our feeder cattle and sell our feed at discounted prices.  Substantial research by NDSU at several sites (Carrington, Fargo, Dickinson, Streeter) and commercial experience across the state support the fact that North Dakota feedlots can compete biologically and economically with commercial feedyards in other states.  We have the opportunity and the resources to feed more calves from weaning to market weight in North Dakota in spite of past impressions, weather considerations, and other previous limitations. 

The North Dakota Barley Council and other agencies are supporting the development of a large-scale investor organization to add value to North Dakota commodities by feeding North Dakota cattle in the state.  The ND Barley Feeders, LLLP  (NDBF) has been formed and during the summer of 2000 will be raising investment capital.  The operational scenario is to initially feed cattle in existing yards across the state.  NDBF will be a customer at commercial yards and work with existing management to insure optimum performance of the animals.  Least-cost rations will be used irrespective of barley, as the objective is to maximize profit.  There are a number of yards that have expressed interest in participating in the NDBF program.  These yards will be expected to meet certain criteria for management and nutrition of feedlot cattle.  Cattle will be sold using current terminal markets with payment based on carcass quality grids employed when it is advantageous.  Risk will be managed for cattle and feed by forward pricing, using options and futures and taking opportunity if high profit windows occur. 

The NDBF has completed its business plan and legal requirements with the assistance of EideBailly and Steve Noack.  Using the new limited liability, limited partnership structure, producers and non-producers can invest at their own comfort level.  The minimum initial investment is $5,000.  By combining the resources of many investors, economies of scale can be achieved and professional results obtained, with limited risk to individuals.  Markets cycle up and down so this organization will provide professional risk management to take maximum advantage of profit windows and limit downside exposure. A major feature of this concept is that there will be no capital investment in facilities and equipment at the outset.  With feeding experience and accumulated resources, leasing, purchasing, or constructing a new feedyard may be considered.  The investment objective is $2 million, which will be leveraged to $6 million with lenders.  A number of lenders are interested in servicing this partnership.   Return on investment is predicted for the next 5 years to be between 10 and 30% with cattle cycles and feed prices the primary sources of variation.

This type of an organization is unique and new to North Dakota in that previously, all livestock enterprises were developed by individuals, families, or formal partners who shouldered substantial individual risk. Investing in the NDBF will give many individuals a knowledge base and real world experience in cattle feeding at minimal risk.  With positive results, investors may choose to expand their own cattle feeding operations, or develop a new feeding enterprise.  Others may increase their investment in existing cattle feeding enterprises.

The NDBF will be operated by a Board of Directors elected from the investor members.  Mr. Audie Baca will manage the feeding operations.  He has extensive feedlot management experience from yards in Texas, Kansas, and most recently, North Dakota. Members of the interim board include Louis Arnold, Esmond, Chair, Jim Broten, Dazey, General Partner, Stu Richter, New Rockford, Rod Bachmeier, Mandan, and Dr. Vern Anderson, Carrington.  Offerings are currently available and can be obtained by contacting Dr. Anderson, 663 Highway 281 North, Carrington, ND 58421, phone 701.652.2951, email vanderso@ndsuext.nodak.edu.


NDSU Vice President,
Dean and Director for Agricultural Affairs
NDSU Extension Service ND Agricultural
Experiment Station
NDSU College of Agriculture NDSU College of Human Development and Education