Feeding Low-Test Weight Corn to Growing Steers Did Not Reduce Performance
North Dakota State Univ. researchers conducted a trial to evaluate the effect of low-density (low-test wt.) corn, resulting from insufficient growing degree days, on the performance of growing steers. A total of sixty beef steers (633 lb) were allotted to one of four dietary treatments in which low-density corn replaced 0, 33, 67, or 100 percent of high-density corn in a growing diet, which consisted of 42% dry-rolled corn, 35% corn silage, 15% mixed hay, and 8% supplement. The high-density corn weighed 56.0 lbs/bu., whereas the low-density corn weighed only 39.1 lbs/bu. The steers were fed individually once a day for 96 days.
Low-density corn inclusion in the diets did not significantly affect dry matter intake, average daily gain, or final weight. However, increasing the percentage of low-density corn significantly improved feed conversion. Dietary NEg also increased significantly as the percentage of low-density corn increased in the diet. The authors concluded that low-density corn is an excellent substitute for high-density corn in a growing diet for beef cattle (Larson et al. 2006. North Dakota State Univ. Beef Cattle and Range Report).
Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science
Animal Science, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE