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Ration Tips for Using Distillers Grains

Jerry Bertoldo, Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: June 25, 2013

The nutritionist may work for a feed company or as an independent consultant. The person is undoubtedly familiar with the particulars of dry distillers grains (DDGS) but might not recommend putting it into your ration. Poor results in the past from highly variable DDGS make some nutritionists take a "wait-and-see" strategy concerning local distillers.

Livestock farmers who don't use a nutritionist miss the luxury of having someone sort out the details that lead to a reasonable decision on whether or not to feed distillers. There are lots of calf raisers and back-yard beef operators who could feed the product, but they need some guidelines. That's the purpose of this article: to give some tips on feeding DDGS and offer you opportunities to save money and get good performance results.

Thumb rules for DDGS use
  • Limit DDGS to a maximum of 40% og diet dry matter (DM) in finishing steers, 20% in dairy heifers and 10% of dairy rations. These recommendations are based on DDGS being 12 to 14% fat. With lower fat DDGS, you can include more in dairy diets.
  • In growing or milking cattle you cannot replace all the cornmeal in a diet with DDGS unless you feed high levels of corn silage.
  • If DDGS represents a high percentage of the diet protein, you must use other protein sources with significant lysine content such as soybean, fish or blood meal.
  • If hay crop is the main forage source, particularly as dry hay, and distillers is maxed out, attention to rumen available nitrogen or degradable protein is important. You can add urea to the diet.
  • Including DDGS with a base of good corn silage and/or high quality hay or haylage will result in a ration high in energy. While this is a good formula for finishing steers, growing heifers will trend towards excessive body condition.
  • Calcium supplementation is essential in growing animals with high DDGS inclusions rates.
DDGS is usually worth the extra cost per DM ton verses the wet or "modified" product. It will show signs of spoilage four to five days post-manufacture in the summer and seven to 10 in cold weather.


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Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
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For many of us taxes can be a mystery, let's have a conversation with the experts about the tax considerations agricultural landowners need to think about. 
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July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm

The Finger Lakes Graziers pasture walk has been cancelled due to some scheduling conflicts. 
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Announcements

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions

June 29, 2019

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions
for 2019 Crop Year

In response to delayed and prevented planting resulting from above average rainfall and wetness, the USDA Risk Management Agency has made a one-time change to the 2019 crop year prevented planting rules that effectively allows silage corn, if planted as a cover crop following local agricultural expert guidelines, to be acceptable as a post-prevented planting cover crop. Under this one-time rule change, producers are allowed to produce this crop while retaining their prevented planting payment. This change couples with previously announced one-time changes to the prevented planting rules - including expanded acceptable uses for post-prevented planting cover crops and a change in the cover crop haying and grazing start date rule - serve to help those struggling to meet their forage needs due to the weather.

Read the full article from the New York Crop Insurance Education Program.

The USDA-RMA states that "For crop insurance purposes, a cover crop is a crop generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement." PRO-DAIRY specialists Joe Lawrence and Karl Czymmek and Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Professor and Director of Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program have released a letter stating "Corn on Prevented Planting acres meets these objectives."


New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.

https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=761&crumb=dairy|1

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