Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



2017 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. University of Nebraska Extension MP104. Lincoln, NE.


© 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


The impact of 3 backgrounding systems: grazing corn residue with distillers grains supplementation at 0.86% BW/d, grazing an oats-brassica forage, or feeding a grower ration in a drylot on finishing performance and carcass characteristics were evaluated. Backgrounding phase gains were greatest for steers fed a grower ration in the drylot (3.58 lb/d), intermediate for steers grazing oats-brassica forage and then fed the grower ration for short period (2.65 lb/d), and least for steers grazing corn residue while supplemented distillers grains and then fed the grower ration for short period (2.22 lb/d). These backgrounding treatment differences did not affect ADG during the finishing period (3.73 lb/d). However, the 2 grazing treatments had greater DMI resulting in poorer F:G. Overall, these backgrounding systems did not affect carcass quality. Increased finishing phase cost for the 2 grazing treatments due to poorer F:G, can be off set by less input cost during backgrounding, but ultimately the cost effectiveness is dependent on the production resources and scenarios of each individual producer.