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Dried distillers grains as winter beef supplement

Cow/calf producers that live in the upper Midwest are acquainted with the use of ethanol by-product feeds as a supplement for winter-feeds for cows. These by-products should be considered when shopping for winter supplements.

Dried distillers grains contain approximately 30 percent crude protein, compared to 20 percent in corn gluten feed. Also distiller's grains are higher in energy partly due to the high fat content. Fat content of distillers feeds have been reported in a range of 9 to 14 percent on a dry matter basis.

Iowa State University nutritionists have provided recommendations of using dried distillers grains as a protein and energy supplement for cows grazing low quality roughages such as corn stalks. Corn stalks are low in protein, energy and minerals, similar to standing native grasses, or low to medium quality hay.

The combinations of dried distillers grains and low quality roughages that would meet requirements for beef cows are listed below:

n For dry, pregnant beef cows in the last 90 days of gestation, 3 pounds to 5 pounds of dried distillers grains per head per day should meet their protein and energy needs when they have access to adequate free choice standing grass and hay.

n After calving, during early lactation, 6 pounds to 8 pounds of dried distillers grains will be needed to meet their protein and energy requirements. Again, it is necessary that the cows have access to free choice low to medium quality roughage.

n Supplementation levels may need to be adjusted for size of cow, level of milk production, and for stressful weather conditions. The goal is always to have cows in adequate body condition score (BCS 5 to 6) at calving and to maintain that body condition into and through the breeding season.

Mineral supplementation might have to be modified for cows receiving ethanol by-products feeds. Many of these supplements are very high in phosphorus. Some are high in sulfur. Visit with a nutritionist about proper mineral supplementation for cows receiving by-product feeds. Learn more about ethanol by-products for cattle by visiting this Iowa State University fact sheet "Ethanol Co-products for Cattle." Source: Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University.

Corn Plot Tour set Sept. 18 in Waubun

The University of Minnesota Extension will host their fall corn plot tour on Thursday, Sept. 18, starting at 5 p.m.. The tour will take place at the Bryan and Bud Klaubunde farmstead and nearby plot, located five and a half miles northwest of Waubun.

Directions from Waubun: Go 4 miles north on Highway 59, and 2 miles west on Mahnomen County Road 6, then a half mile south on Mahnomen County Road 26.

The plot has 40 varieties of corn that is replicated. Speakers will include the various Corn Company Seed Reps, Russ Severson, University of Minnesota Extension, on the "Northern Minnesota Corn Nitrogen Study," and Ray Bisek, U of M Extension, on "Glyphosate Weed Resistant Plants and Handling Wet Corn at Harvest."

A supper will follow the tour at the farmstead. For more information contact Ray Bisek at 218-784-5551 (Ada - Monday and Tuesday), 218-935-2226 (Mahnomen - Wednesday and Thursday), or 218-563-3000 (McIntosh - Friday).

Growing degree update

Most of the full season crops grown in our area of the Minnesota will need some warm days and especially warm nights to reach maturity. As of Aug. 8, Growing Degree Day (GDD) accumulation for corn is about 130 heat units behind for the Detroit Lakes/Park Rapids area, compared to the average GDD accumulation.

When we are so far behind, it is difficult to make up GDD's and also hard to accumulate GDD's when we have such cool nights. We have to hold off frost, and stay warm in order to assure maturity of corn, beans and many of our garden crops.

For more information, please contact: Will Yliniemi, Hubbard/Becker County Extension Educator at 1-218-732-3391, 1-218-846-7328 or by cell at 1-218-252-1042, or by email at