Animal Science Department


First Advisor

Galen Erickson

Second Advisor

James MacDonald

Date of this Version



Garland, S. A. 2018. Impact of ethanol process changes on distillers grains for beef cattle. M.S. Thesis. University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Galen E. Erickson. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2018

Copyright (c) 2018 Shelby A. Garland


Distillers grains plus solubles (DGS) have been widely utilized in beef cattle diets. Fractionation of the corn kernel pre- and post-fermentation has changed the composition of DGS and allowed for the production of other feed byproducts over time. The use of fractionated DGS and other feed byproducts from the ethanol industry has not been heavily researched in beef cattle diets. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of feeding high protein distillers grains (HiPro DDG) and corn bran plus solubles (Bran + Solubles) in beef cattle diets. Experiment 1 evaluated the effect of byproduct type on finishing performance and carcass characteristics. Experiment 2 evaluated the effect of byproduct type on nutrient digestibility, ruminal pH, ruminal VFA production, and in vitro gas production. Byproducts replaced corn at 40% of diet DM in Exp. 1. Experiment 3 compared feeding Bran + Solubles to wet DGS at 20 and 40% of diet DM compared to a corn control. In Exp. 2, Feeding HiPro DDG or Bran + Solubles resulted in decreased digestibility compared to corn or traditional wet and dry DGS, but increased energy intake. Traditional wet and dry DGS also resulted in decreased digestibility while energy intake was increased. Volatile fatty acid profiles and pH parameters were not different across treatments. Feeding HiPro DDG and Bran + Solubles improved gains and feed efficiency compared to traditional dry or wet DGS and corn. Compared to wet DGS, Bran + Solubles resulted in similar performance and carcass characteristics. Increased inclusion of both byproducts resulted in a linear increase in carcass weight. Overall, nutrient digestibility for HiPro DDG or Bran + Solubles is similar to traditional wet or dry DGS while performance was increased.

Advisor: Galen E. Erickson