Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Galen E. Erickson

Date of this Version



Hopfauf, S. M., 2020. Effect of Exogenous Alpha-Amylase on Finishing Cattle Performance and Carcass Characteristics. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A Thesis.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under Supervision of Professor Galen E. Erickson. Lincoln, NE: May, 2020

Copyright © 2020 Stacia M. Hopfauf


A finishing study utilizing exogenous alpha-amylase was completed to examine the effects of Aspergillus and corn processing method on finishing cattle performance and carcass characteristics. Corn was processed as dry-rolled corn (DRC) or high-moisture corn (HMC) and Aspergillus was included in the diet at 0 or 10 g/hd/d. No significant interactions between corn processing method and Aspergillus were observed for any performance or carcass parameters. Cattle fed Aspergillus had a greater amount of backfat, with a tendency for a greater USDA Yield Grade compared to cattle fed the CON diet. A pooled analysis was completed to examine the effects of Syngenta Enogen Feed corn (EFC) on finishing cattle performance and carcass characteristics. The pooled analysis utilized seven previous trials completed at UNL to evaluate the overall effect of EFC. Enogen Feed Corn or a control (CON) corn were used and processed as DRC or HMC. Distillers grains were added in the diet at 0, 15, 18, 20 or 30% (DM basis) or Sweet Bran was utilized at 25 and 30% of diet DM. A significantly greater dry-matter intake (DMI) was observed for cattle fed CON (DRC) as distillers grains increased from 0% to 18% of diet DM. When EFC was processed as DRC, gain-to-feed (G:F) improvement decreased from 4.5% to 1.6% as distillers grains increased from 0% to 20% of the diet. Feeding cattle EFC (DRC) showed greater average daily gain (ADG) with a 4.5% improvement in G:F compared to CON corn with 25 or 35% Sweet Bran. However, no improvements in animal performance were observed when cattle were fed EFC as HMC with Sweet Bran or distillers grains compared to CON diet.

Overall, feeding exogenous alpha-amylase or alpha-amylase containing corn would suggest a slightly improved feed efficiency depending on corn processing method and byproduct type and inclusion in the diet.

Advisor: Galen E. Erickson