Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2007


Published in 2007 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Copyright © 2006 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Animal performance and N dynamics of different grazing management and supplementation strategies in cattle production systems were evaluated on smooth bromegrass pastures in eastern Nebraska. Steers supplemented with dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) on non-fertilized smooth bromegrass pastures gained more (0.58 lb/d) than steers on fertilized and non-fertilized smooth bromegrass. Nitrogen retention per steer supplemented with DDGS was 38.5% greater than non supplemented steers on fertilized smooth bromegrass and non-supplemented steers on non-fertilized smooth bromegrass stocked at 69% of the rate on fertilized pastures. Fertilized and supplemented pastures were stocked at equal densities. Nitrogen use efficiency based on the amount of N applied as either fertilizer or in DDGS was 3.2 times greater for supplemented steers than non-supplemented steers grazing fertilized pasture (26.38 % vs. 8.23%). Dried distillers grains can be used as a substitute for forage and N fertilizer by improving performance, reducing cost of gains, and increasing N retention in yearling steers.