Carrington Research Extension Center


Feedlot Research


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

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


2016 North Dakota Beef Report 

2015 Beef Cattle and Range Research Report

Alternative Feeds for Ruminants

Beef Feeding Operation Siting and Design Basics

Biosecure Nutrient Management Practices

Combined Feed Value and Protein and Energy Calculator

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

Field Pea Grain for Beef Cattle

Harvesting, Storing and Feeding Corn as Earlage

Harvesting, Storing and Feeding High-Moisture Corn

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

Low-stress Cattle Working Facilities

Low-stress Cattle Working Facilities Video

Managing Odor Nuisance and Dust from Cattle Feedlots

Producer's Guide to Livestock Manure Management Systems

Resource Guide for Livestock Manure Management

Using Flax in Livestock Diets

Wheat Middlings: A Useful Feed for Cattle

Winter Management of Feedlot Cattle


Cow/Calf Production    Top of Page

File 2015 Beets as Feed for Growing and Finishing Steers
Sugar beets have been fed to cattle throughout the world for the past 100+ years but only recently have we realized that this crop has the unique potential of producing high yields on saline soils where other crops will not grow. “Feed beets™” are a variation of sugarbeets developed specifically for feeding ruminant animals. Beets contain more energy than corn silage (80% vs. 70% TDN; Table 1) but are typically lower in dry matter (DM) (25% vs. 35%). The sugar and digestible fiber content make beets particularly attractive as a feedstuff for all classes of beef cattle.
File text/texmacs 2014 Effects of Fat Level in Distillers Grain on Feedlot Finishing Performance and Carcass Traits
Performance of steers fed rations with increasing fat in distillers grains.
File 2014 Effects of Corn Particle Size and Forage Level on Performance and Carcass Traits of Yearling Steers during Finishing
Animal performance for yearling steers fed diets containing whole, dry-rolled, or finely-ground corn with decreasing forage levels.
File Troff document 2014 An Update from the Discovery Farms Project
The Discovery Farms project provides a working farm setting to collect the data needed to help strike that balance between profitability and protection of natural resources.
File 2013 Feed Testing for Ranchers
Results of feed analysis can be used to better predict calf performance in backgrounding rations and develop effective cow wintering diets.
File VCS/ICS calendar 2013 Effects of Forage Level in Finishing Diets on Beef Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characterisitics
A trial to see how forage levels in cattle diets affect performance and carcass traits.
File VCS/ICS calendar 2013 Effects of Forage Level in Finishing Diets on Beef Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characteristics
Results of a 2013 study to evaluate three different finishing diets that contained 20, 30, or 40 percent forage to assess effects on growth performance and meat-quality traits.
File Troff document 2013 Drylot Vs Pasture Beef Cow/Calf Production - 3 Year Progress Report
A trial to see the performance difference of cow/calf pairs in a drylot versus pasture.
File 2013 Discovering Value in North Dakota Calves; The Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout Project XII (2012-13)
Results from the 2012-13 Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout Project.
File ECMAScript program 2013 An Evaluation of Cellulo-Gest™ Supplement to Enhance Forage Digestibility and Improve Performance of Growing Calves
Results of a study to evaluate Cellulo-Gest, Old Mill-Troy Inc., North Troy, VT, fed in mixed rations to growing feedlot cattle.
File ECMAScript program 2013 An Evaluation of Cellulo-Gest™ Supplement to Enhance Forage Digestibility and Improve Performance of Growing Calves
A trial to investigate a feed additive to improve animal performance.
File 2012 Johannes Farm and Feedlot Diverts Clean Water
A discovery farm that wanted to know the amounts of nutrients that runoff from their feedlot.
File 2012 Feedlot Drainage Area Soil Nutrient Levels Across the Landscape
Discovery Farms trial looking at the effects of a feedlot on the soil nutrient levels of the feedlot's drainage area.
File text/texmacs 2012 Effects of Bedding during the Summer and Protein Level on Angus Steer Performance and Carcass Traits
A study to evaluate the effects of normal versus high protein diets on steer performance and carcass traits and to evaluate the effects of bedding with corn stover during the summer to mitigate heat stress, sequester nutrients in the manure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
File 2012 Distillers Grains Equalizes Steer Performance and Carcass Traits in Finishing Diets with Reciprocal Levels of Corn and Barley
A trial that looks at how distillers grain affect steers with reciprocal levels of corn and barley.
File 2012 Discovering Value in North Dakota Calves: The Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout Project XI
A project to discover the actual value of spring-born beef steer calves, provide comparisons between herds, and benchmark feeding and carcass performance.
File 2012 Corn Stover and Distillers Grains for Lactating Drylot Beef Cows
This project evaluated the use of corn stover and distillers grains as the primary ingredients in lactating beef cow diets.
File text/texmacs 2011 Feedlot Runoff Monitoring Results from Three Years of Snowmelt Events
A study to collect data that can help us better understand the impacts of snowmelt on feedlot runoff management.
File 2011 Evaluation of Pea Forages in Growing and Finishing Feedlot Rations
A study to evaluate animal performance and effects on carcass traits of pea forage.
File Troff document 2011 Evaluation of Low-input Growing and Finishing Options for Cattle Producers Year 2 Progress Report
A study to assess animal performance of different feeding systems.
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