Ethanol Blog
Cheryl Anderson DTN Staff Reporter

Monday 04/14/14

Substitute Co-Products for Forage

Although it is still too early to identify signs of alfalfa winterkill in some northern states, there are options for livestock producers who may have some winterkill in their fields, according to an article by Farm and Ranch Guide (…).

Farmers have several options, including replanting or feeding more co-product to offset some of their hay needs. In additional to distillers grains, products might also consider wheat midds, barley malt sprout pellets, beet pulp or grain screenings, according to Karl Hoppe, an area extension specialist for livestock systems at the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center.

Hoppe also suggested harvest corn as corn silage, or baling straw, corn stover and crop aftermath for forage.

Although such forages are typically low in quality, university researchers have found that distillers grains work extremely well with low quality forages. Distillers grains not only add much-needed nutrition to the forage, but make it more palatable for cattle as well.

Hoppe stressed the importance of testing forage to find the protein, energy and mineral content.

"It's a low price to pay to know the feeding value of your forage," Hoppe said. "Cow herd nutritional issues are usually a result of a feed not actually being as good as expected, and then ration isn't adjusted to offset the poorer feed quality."

Cheryl Anderson can be reached at


Posted at 12:19PM CDT 04/14/14 by Cheryl Anderson
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