Corn bran vs. corn grain at two forage levels

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Feed costs are the largest part of the total production costs in dairy cattle operations. Using alternative, potentially less expensive feed sources that do not negatively affect total production and other performance measures may increase profitability. Within the alternative feed sources, attention should be given to coproducts from the corn ethanol industry because in 2013, the corn ethanol industry produced 84,088 tons of livestock feed (RFA, 2014).

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of substituting corn bran (CB) for dried ground corn grain (CG) in the nonforage portion of high-forage (HF) and low-forage (LF) diets. Twelve multiparous and 12 primiparous Holsteins were assigned to four diets. The effects of these treatments on performance, intake, and apparent total-tract digestibility of the diets were evaluated.

Feeding the LFCG diet resulted in the greatest milk yield, protein concentration, protein yield, and milk energy yield. It also caused the lowest concentration of milk fat and MUN among the four diets, and resulted in lower milk fat yield than the HFCG diet. The LFCB diet resulted in lower milk fat and energy yields compared with HFCG, but no other milk component yields or concentrations differed significantly between these diets.

Researchers: C. Arndt, L.E. Armentano, M.B. Hall

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