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July 2020 Newsletter – Alternative Feeds for Cattle

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 Catawba Valley Cattlemen’s Association

(meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month)

This month’s meeting is on Tuesday, 7 p.m., July 14, 2020 Only an educational program on Alternative Cattle Feeds and The Nutritional Value of Beef is planned in your home as a conference call or on the computer in the form of a Zoom meeting.

Register in advance for this meeting:(copy and paste the numbers below into your website search line at the top and hit “enter” and it should ask for your name, your birthdate, and an email address. When you send this in, it will send you an email to the address you just entered and that info will be entered into the “Zoom” program to see us all online and be part of the program.) Please call me if you have any questions. 405-219-1902

Meeting link

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Meeting Agenda                                                 
7 p.m. – Educational Program: Alternative Feeds (15minutes), Whole Animal Carcass Buying (5 min.), The Value of Red Meat (15Min.)

Speakers: Ms. Valeriia Litvinova, NC State University Intern. Degree: Human Nutrition            Glenn Detweiler, Livestock Extension Agent, MS
8 p.m. – Meeting adjourned.
Because of COVID-19 W, we are still not able to meet in a large group. This meeting will be done by conference call or by lab top computer if you want to see other people. Dialing in by phone only requires 2 sets of numbers. For the computer, it requires a longer set of numbers. I can email you the codes needed and you will only need to copy and paste them into the meeting form. Call me so we can provide the numbers or info needed for you to be able to get in on this informative meeting. My cell phone is 405.219.1902 and we will figure it out.

Ø  Greg and Amanda are the proud (and tired) parents of a bouncing baby boy! Congratulations!

Ø  Grant money is available via the FSA. Take your highest inventory of cows & calves between April 16 & May 14 and because of price drops due to COVID-19, you will receive $33.00 plus for each head. I highly recommend this especially if you have your farm as a business. Call 704-872-5061 Ext. 2 Statesville office or Dallas office in Gaston County 704-922-3806. Or go to CFAP. If you need me to walk you through this website please call me.

   ALTERNATIVE FEEDS FOR CATTLE. Forage supplies the majority of dietary nutrients in cow-calf and stocker cattle operations. However, additional nutrients frequently are provided to grazing and pen-fed cattle to correct a nutritional deficiency, increase animal performance or replace forage consumption with another feed source to stretch the forage supply. Supplemental protein and energy traditionally are provided in a number of different sources.
Examples of common protein and energy supplement sources include alfalfa hay, cottonseed meal, soybean meal, corn, sorghum, and wheat. However, numerous alternative feeds can be used to meet supplemental protein and energy needs of beef cattle. By far, the most common alternative feeds are byproducts of the grain and/or oilseed milling industries. Examples include wheat middlings and corn gluten feed. Numerous less common alternative feeds can frequently be used to meet the nutritional needs of cattle in a cost-effective manner. Examples of these less common feed sources include bakery waste products, bean sprouts, and peanut skins.

One big concern with alternative feeds is the variability of products, especially with the mineral levels. Conventional feed grain farmers have many varieties and methods of growing; but, the nutrient content has remained relatively the same. Variabilities to think about include:

1) Due to the nature of alternative or byproduct feed production, nutrient concentration and moisture content can vary a great deal. Moisture content of 11 % or more for most byproduct feeds can create significant storage and spoilage problems. For this reason, it is a good idea to obtain a lab feed analysis from the supplier for each load of feed. If an analysis is not available specifically for the feed already purchased or being considered for purchase, collect and send off a sample for analysis. By being aware of the physical and nutritional characteristics of each feed ingredient and adjusting the ration accordingly, toxicity problems and disappointing animal performance can be minimized.

2) Once the nutrient concentration of the feed has been determined, an appropriate feeding rate or feed blend must be determined. Very few feed ingredients can be fed as a single ingredient in complete rations. Thus, it is imperative that a producer consult a nutritionist and have feeds tested for nutrient composition and then balanced with other ingredients in the ration.

3) Mineral nutrition is a very important part of a comprehensive supplementation program and will vary depending on stage of production. Depending on degree of processing, phosphorus content of conventional feed grains such as corn, milo and wheat will range in phosphorus content from 0.27% to 0.44%. All of the byproduct feeds we will look at, with exception of soybean hulls, are relatively high in phosphorus. In dry and wet milling processes, starches are removed from these grains which concentrates nutrients in the resulting by product feed 2 to 3 times, compared to the original grain product. Beef cattle diets should be balance to provide a recommended calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. In many cases, a calcium source such as limestone will need to be added to the supplement or mineral mix to achieve this ratio. Many of the byproduct feeds also are good sources of potassium as well as trace minerals. As a result , depending on the level of the alternative feed in the diet, a lower cost mineral supplementation program can be adopted.

4) Due to processing procedures, alternative feeds may contain toxic levels of some minerals. This is usually only a concern if cattle consume too much of one feed containing a high concentration of a specific mineral. When the feed source is provided, in a relatively small daily amount as a supplement, it generally does not create an animal health problem. One example of a possible toxic mineral is sulfur. Cattle require 0.15% sulfer in the diet, with a maximum of 0.4 %. Concentration of sulfur in corn gluten feed (0.43%), barley malt sprout pellets w/ hulls(0.85%), Distillers Grain(0.4%), cottonseed meal(0.44%), and soybean meal(0.47%) have averages above the cattle’s maximum. Sulfur in water and other feeds need to be considered. Excess sulfur intake can lead to PEM often called sulfur-induced polio. With power plants not using coal, excess sulfur is less of a problem in our area.
Dr. Matt Poore did a lot of research on alternative feeds and the economics involved. Many milling companies are providing pelleted cattle feeds made from the least expensive by products in the area. These can be brought right to the farm in bulk tank auger trucks if a minimum of 3 ton is ordered. Of course, a storage area will need to be provided to store the feed. If you are going by a milling company or a company that sells byproducts, the large tote sacks are another option to haul and store feed for feeding cattle.