Feedmill Renovation and Expansion for
Feedlot and Cow/Calf Research


Vern Anderson

NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center



Livestock account for only 18 percent of the agricultural income in North Dakota.The state is a net exporter of feed, calves, and our farm youth.Past research at the Carrington Center in head to head feeding over multiple years with commercial feedyards in Kansas has proven that cattle can be competitively finished in the state.†† The reasons are abundant and competitively priced feedstuffs, excellent quality cattle, and people with cattle management skills and a strong work ethic.Over the past several years, feedlot research and educational activities have increased at the Carrington Center to support further development of the feeding industry in the state.


The North Dakota Stockmenís Association led the effort to fund a major feedmill renovation and expansion by the ND Legislature.Significant progress has been made to date toward completion of this facility with more work planned in time for feeding studies in the fall of 2003.The major improvements in renovating the feed center are 1) increased bulk storage capacity, 2) greater volume for processing and mixing rations, 3) increased access and flexibility for grains, co-products, and supplements inresearch diets, and 4) improved accuracy of measuring ingredients in respective ration formulations.The Northern Crops Institute plays a key role in supporting feedlot research at the Carrington Center by manufacturing supplements and processing additive ingredients for specialized trials.


The Carrington Research Extension Center has been conducting feedlot research in some form since 1977.Replicated feeding pens were added in 1991 and pens built for bison research are now being used for feedlot studies.The new mill will be capable of feeding up to 1000 head with some pen renovations and staffing support in both research and demonstration projects.The basic mill infrastructure was funded with a $300,000 appropriation from the legislature.Support from industry and commodity groups will add needed items to maximize the operational potential of the feed center.


Appreciation is expressed to the following organizations for their significant financial commitments and past support:


*      ND Barley Council

*      ND Corn Council

*      ND Oilseeds Council

*      ND Soybean Council

*      Dakota Growers Pasta Company

*      ND Livestock Endowment Foundation

*      ND Dry Pea and Lentil Association


Feedlot research projects are developed and planned from a variety of inputs and in some cases are funded by grants.Scientists from the Carrington Center and Animal and Range Science Department collaborate on many research and educational projects. Ruminant nutrition laboratory facilities and metabolism trials on campus plus graduate student involvement in research studies are important collaborative links for quality research at NDSU.†† Future research will build on past information and lessons learned from others states.We will focus on the environment, genetics, local feeds and forages, feeding management, and economics.Steers and heifers used in feeding studies come from ranches in the region (some with retained ownership), other Research Centers, or are purchased at regional sale barns.

Educational activities at the Carrington Center include a highly successful feedlot school, economic development activities, internships, publication and dissemination of all types of feeding information, waste management guidance, and a variety of tours.†† The feedlot school has been held at least annually in late January.†† This school is also offered at the Northern Crops Institute in Fargo in early September.Several cattle feeding projects with hundreds of producer owned steers have been conducted to provide feedout and carcass data to ranchers across the state while conducting research studies with commercial steers. On-farm visits, Center tours by appointment, phone and email consultations are common for all research and extension faculty.††


Feedmill construction progress as of June 1, 2003