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Effects of reduced-fat distillers grains inclusion in feedlot diets on cattle

Read the full report: Effects of reduced-fat distillers grains inclusion in feedlot diets on cattle

About this report:

Distillers grains, a coproduct of the ethanol industry, have been utilized in cattle feedlot diets extensively for several years. Recently, ethanol producers have attempted to increase profits by removing oil from corn or distillers grains, thereby creating additional coproducts of ethanol production. Full-fat distillers grains with solubles have been extensively studied in feedlot diets to determine their effect on rumen fermentation, digestion, growth performance and carcass characteristics. However, reduced-fat distillers grains have not been studied as extensively. With lower fat concentration, there is concern that this may translate to lower energy supply and may impact animal performance. An experiment was conducted to determine effects of partially replacing dry rolled corn with full- or reduced-fat distillers grains with solubles in feedlot diets on cattle growth performance and carcass characteristics.


This study suggests that reduced-fat distillers grains can replace full-fat distillers grains in feedlot diets without having a negative impact on growth performance, carcass, or meat quality characteristics up to 20% dietary dry matter. Moreover, both reduced- and full-fat distillers grains can effectively replace dry rolled corn in feedlot diets. The increased energy content in feedlot diets containing distillers grains versus dry rolled corn may lead to growth performance and carcass characteristic improvements in cattle harvested at similar time points.

Project outcomes:

While the ethanol industry is able to create more coproducts and increase their profits, cattle producers are also provided with more cost effective options for feeding their livestock without compromising the quality of their product.


Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council


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