Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2290



Summary and Implications

The ethanol industry is rapidly expanding. As much as 40% of the energy cost is associated with drying of the feed co-products. Distillers’ grains are excellent sources of nutrients for the diets of beef cattle, but have a short shelf life. To expand the use of wet distillers’ feeds to more producers, longer term storage methods are required. This study as designed to evaluate and demonstrate methods of preserving these feeds. In September, 2006 eight tons of condensed distillers’ solubles were mixed with an equal quantity of tub ground low quality hay and placed in a bunker silo at the ISU Beef Nutrition Farm. This feed was fed to growing cattle for an 85 day backgrounding study and compared to those same feeds mixed daily, and also conventional diets. This study began October 2006 and the final weights were collected in January 2007. Mold was present on the bunker stored forage and continued throughout the experiment. The dry matter of the product (> 60%) and the small bunker size limited our ability to pack and properly exclude air from the feed mass. Performance of cattle fed the ensiled feed was significantly poorer than that of cattle fed the same feeds mixed daily. Storing CDS separately in tanks was superior to mixing with forage and preserving the mixture in a bunker silo under the conditions of this study.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University