Research suggests that it is possible to feed dairy cows up to 30% distillers grains on a dry matter basis when the feed ration is properly balanced, according to information in a new University of Nebraska resource publication.
Utilization of Corn Co-Products in the Dairy Industry was produced by the UNL with assistance from the Nebraska Corn Board.
The 12-page electronic booklet provides the latest corn co-product feeding information to dairy producers, nutritionists, Extension educators, industry representatives and others, says Kelly Brunkhorst, ag program manager for the Nebraska Corn Board. The publication is available at NebraskaCorn.org under the Publications tab.
"The electronic publication explains the basic corn dry milling process before covering the chemical composition and nutrient availability of distillers grains," Brunkhorst says. "It also provides some considerations when choosing between wet or dry distillers grains."
UNL specialists also provide details on feeding levels and production responses that are typical with feeding distillers grains.
"Feed co-products from the dry milling industry are quickly becoming common and cost effective ingredients in dairy diets," the authors said in the conclusion of the publication. "Assuming the price of distillers grains will continue to remain lower than corn grain and soybean meal, it is easy to predict that rations including these feeds will be cheaper. This economic benefit underscores the growing importance of understanding how co-products may be included in dairy diets."
Brunkhorst says with the ethanol industry continuing to expand, the production of distillers grains will also grow, providing a cost-effective feed ingredient option for dairy producers and their nutritionists. "Dairy producers from Nebraska to California or any state can benefit by including distillers grains in feed rations," he says. "This publication helps answer questions and make it easier for producers to begin using the nutrient-rich corn ethanol co-product."
The publication is a companion to Utilization of Corn Co-Products in the Beef Industry, which was updated and published in August 2007. The beef publication is also available at NebraskaCorn.org under the Publications tab.