Wet distillers grains and other corn co-products are a tremendous feed option for cattle producers, but storing these nutritious co-products for an extended time can be a challenge because they can begin to spoil within a few days or a couple of weeks.
Care needs to be taken to make sure feed quality is maintained.
The Nebraska Corn Board partnered with the University of Nebraska to develop the new "Storage of Wet Corn Co-Products publication."
The 20-page publication will help producers take advantage of wet distillers grains by showing them a variety of cost-effective storage options," says Kelly Brunkhorst, staffer on the board. It includes information on wet and modified wet distillers grains, as well as wet corn gluten feed. Storage options from bags to bunks, and analysis of mixing forage with the wet corn co-product are included.
"There are several good options for storing wet corn co-products," says Dr. Galen Erickson, a beef specialist with the University of Nebraska. "For example, silo bag storage can work well, but bagging straight wet co-products under pressure will likely split or break the bag. Adding a small amount of forage as described in the manual can solve that challenge. More forage is needed for bunker storage, however, which is outlined in the manual."
Erickson, one of the report's authors, says inexpensive, low-quality forages are likely the best choice when mixing them with wet co-products for storage. "Low quality forages fit well because they are more fibrous and this is a great way to improve palatability of low quality forage."
By being able to store wet corn co-products, producers could buy product when it is inexpensive and store it for use during the grazing season if they are cow-calf producers. Feedlots could store product for times of the year when cattle numbers increase.
In addition to storage information, the manual includes some feed results from feeding stored wet corn co-products, as well as a cost budget worksheet to help producers estimate the cost of storing wet co-products.
Storage of Wet Corn Co-Products is a 20-page printed and electronic publication. It is available under the Publications tab at www.NebraskaCorn.org or by requesting a printed copy from the Nebraska Corn Board. It can also be found at beef.unl.edu, where a cost budget analysis spreadsheet is also available.
Another publication, "Utilization of Corn Co-Products in the Dairy Industry," came out earlier this year, and an updated "Utilization of Corn Co-Products in the Beef Industry" was published in August 2007. All are available at www.NebraskaCorn.org.