Date of this Version
Cornhusker Economics (March 2012)
Growth of the ethanol industry in Nebraska and surrounding states has increased the availability of distillers co-products as feed for livestock. The increased availability of distillers grains with solubles (DGS) together with its high protein, energy and phosphorous content, make it a natural fit as a supplement in many grazing situations (2008 Nebraska Beef Report, pg. 25-27, 2009 Nebraska Beef Report, pg. 37-39). DGS generally comes in the form of a wet (WDGS) or dry (DDGS) product. How to feed this relatively new product to cattle in a pasture is an important economic question. Several recent studies at the University of Nebraska’s Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, near Whitman, Nebraska have measured the effects of two delivery methods when feeding WDGS and DDGS in a pasture on the ground, versus feeding them in commercially manufactured feed bunks. It was expected that feeding on the ground would result in higher waste levels than feeding in a bunk, but the waste may be offset by a reduction in capital expenses associated with bunk feeding.