Animal Science, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in 2009 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report (Lincoln, NE: December, 2008). Copyright © 2008 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


An economic analysis of a three-year study evaluated use of N fertilizer and dried distillers grains plus solubles (DDGS) supplementation to yearling steers grazing smooth bromegrass in eastern Nebraska (Nebraska Beef Report, 2009, pp. 26-28). Costs of gain tended to be lower for cattle on fertilized pastures. Grazing profitability was lowest for cattle on non-fertilized pastures, intermediate for cattle supplemented with DDGS, and highest for cattle on fertilized pastures. The weight advantage (9%) of steers supplemented with DDGS during the grazing period was maintained through the finishing period, leading to greater profitability. Profitability for steers supplemented with DDGS at the end of the grazing period was significantly reduced due to the price slide on heavier cattle. Therefore, to maximize profits from DDGS supplementation in the grazing period, ownership of the steers through the finishing period is necessary.