Animal Science, Department of


First Advisor

Galen E. Erickson

Date of this Version


Document Type



Ovinge, L.A. 2019. The utilization of brown midrib corn silage hybrids and kernel processing to improve corn silage value and the use of high protein distillers grains to evaluate starch digestion. PhD Dissertation. University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Major: Animal Science (Ruminant Nutrition) Under the Supervision of Professor Galen E. Erickson Lincoln, Nebraska May, 2019.

Copyright (c) 2019 Lauren A. Ovinge


Three studies evaluated the effects of corn silage hybrid, inclusion level and kernel processing in growing and finishing diets. Two more studies were conducted on high protein dried distillers grains and its effect in finishing diets. Experiment 1 and 2 evaluated three corn silage hybrids; standard (CON; hybrid-TMF2H708), brown midrib (bm3; hybrid-F15579S2) and Unified™ brown midrib with SilaSoft™ kernel technology with a floury endosperm (bm3-soft; hybrid-F15578XT) harvested with or without kernel processing on growth and metabolism. Experiment 3 evaluated a brown midrib hybrid (bm3; hybrid-F27F627; Mycogen® Seeds) or a control (CON; hybrid-TMF2H708) in the diet at 15%, 45% or 75% and dropping to 15% DM for the second half of the trial and fed to a common backfat thickness. Experiment 4 and 5 evaluated high protein dried distillers grains plus solubles (HiPro) or traditional DDGS to a control diet with no DGS, using steam flaked corn (SFC) or dry rolled corn (DRC) as a grain source. In Exp. 1 and 2, the inclusion of bm3 and bm3-soft increased (P<0.01) fiber digestibility, average daily gain (ADG) and gain:feed (G:F), with no effect (P=0.47) on starch digestibility. Kernel processing decreased (P=0.02) dry matter intake (DMI), which tended to reduce G:F 2.9%. In Exp. 3, cattle consuming 15% silage had greater (P<0.01) ADG and G:F and smaller HCW because they were fed 28 days less. The 45 and 75/15% did not differ (P≥0.10) in G:F and were more profitable (P<0.01) than CON. In Exp. 4 and 5, DDGS and HiPro increased (P<0.01) DMI, G:F, and ADG. Cattle consuming DDGS and HiPro had lower (P<0.01) DM, OM, and starch digestibility. Including bm3 improved performance in the first two studies, and increasing inclusion of silage increased profitability. Using HiPro did not result in improvements in feed efficiency in DRC-based diets beyond DDGS.

Advisor: Galen E. Erickson