Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



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2020 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report


Crossbred steers (n=270; 645 lb, ± 3 lb) were used in a 2 × 3 factorial treatment design in a growing (54 d) and finishing study (130 d). Th e factors were 0 or 44% sugar beets (dry matter basis) in place of dry rolled corn, during the growing phase and 0, 15, or 30% sugar beets during the finishing phase. Daily gain was not different for the growing treatments but the calves on the 44% sugar beet treatment had less dry matter intake than those on the 0% sugar beet treatment, making them 5.5% more efficient. However, during the finishing phase, the steers on the 0% sugar beet treatment had greater daily gain than those on the 44% sugar beet treatment. Related to the beet inclusion during finishing, the 0% sugar beet treatment and the 15% had similar gain and feed efficiency, which was greater than the 30% sugar beet treatment. Hot carcass weight, back fat, and yield grade were greatest for the 0%, followed by 15%, and with 30% sugar beets having the least. Including sugar beets in a growing ration could increase feed efficiency by decreasing dry matter intake with similar gain. Including sugar beets in a finishing diet will likely not result in similar performance or carcass characteristics to a dry- rolled corn based diet.