Date of this Version
One grazing and two feeding experiments were conducted to compare the feeding value of corn residue or corn grain from a genetically enhanced corn hybrid (corn rootworm-protected; event MON 863) with nontransgenic, commercially available, reference hybrids. In Exp. 1, two 13.7-ha fields, containing corn residues from either a genetically enhanced corn rootworm- protected hybrid (MON 863), or a near-isogenic, nontransgenic control hybrid (CON) were divided into four equal-sized paddocks. Sixty-four steer calves (262 ± 15 kg) were stratified by BW and assigned randomly to paddock to achieve a stocking rate of 0.43 ha/steer for 60 d, with eight steers per paddock and 32 steers per hybrid. A protein supplement was fed at 0.45 kg/ steer daily (DM basis) to ensure protein intake did not limit performance. Steer ADG did not differ (P = 0.30) between steers grazing the MON 863 (0.39 kg/d) and CON (0.34 kg/d) corn residues for 60 d. The four treatments for the feeding experiments (Exp. 2 and 3) included two separate reference hybrids, the near-isogenic control hybrid (CON), and the genetically enhanced hybrid (MON 863) resulting in two preplanned comparisons of CON vs. MON 863, and MON 863 vs. the average of the reference hybrids (REF). In Exp. 2, 200 crossbred yearling steers (365 ± 19 kg) were fed in 20 pens, with five pens per corn hybrid. In Exp. 3, 196 crossbred yearling steers (457 ± 33 kg) were fed in 28 pens, with seven pens per corn hybrid. In Exp. 2, DMI and G:F did not differ (P > 0.10) between MON 863 and CON; however, steers fed MON 863 had a greater (P = 0.04) ADG than steers fed CON. Gain efficiency was greater (P = 0.05) for MON 863 cattle than for REF cattle in Exp. 2, but other performance measurements (DMI and ADG) did not differ (P > 0.10) between MON 863 and REF. No differences (P > 0.10) were observed for performance (DMI, ADG, and G:F) between MON 863 and CON or MON 863 and REF in Exp. 3. In terms of carcass characteristics, no differences (P > 0.10) were observed between MON 863 and CON, as well as MON 863 and REF, for marbling score, LM area, or 12th rib fat thickness in both Exp. 2 and 3. Overall, performance was not negatively affected in the corn residue grazing or feedlot experiments, suggesting the corn rootworm protected hybrid (event MON 863) is similar to conventional, nontransgenic corn grain and residues when utilized by beef cattle.