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Invited Review: Use of byproduct feeds in southeastern US beef production systems

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Author: Matthew H. Poore†
Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7621

†Corresponding author: [email protected]

Year Published: 2022


Purpose: Byproduct feeds are important in beef cattle feeding systems in the southeastern United States. This article discusses the evolution of a feed from a waste material to a coproduct, presents a current understanding of several important byproducts, and details sweetpotatoes and associated byproducts as an example of a potential feed source that needs continued development.

Sources: Applied research and outreach results are presented to support the use of byproducts currently in widespread use in the region. Practical advice is offered to readers based on 32 yr of experience working with farmers on byproduct-based diets for stocker cattle and brood cows.

Synthesis: There are several well-established byproduct feeds, including soybean hulls, corn gluten feed, distillers grains, and wheat middlings, that have been the subject of a great deal of research and development. Many other potential feed sources remain as waste materials or waste products awaiting more research and development to help them evolve into well-accepted feeds.

Conclusions and Applications: Nutritionists need to understand the characteristics and limitations of byproducts available in their area. Working with producers to set up effective feeding programs that allow them to make quick decisions on ingredient purchasing and adapting to disruption in supply will be critical. Although many feeds appear valuable “on paper” using the Petersen method, factors that influence their usefulness, including the presence of contaminants or antinutritional factors, high moisture content, and imbalance of key minerals, must be considered in the development of an effective feeding program.

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