The primary goal of grain processing is to increase energy (starch) availability to improve cattle performance. As observed by UNL, the economic return from processing corn is dependent on variables such as corn price, feed efficiency response, energy cost, and size of feedyard. UNL provides several tips for effectively processing grain.
- Feed efficiency and weight gain are substantially improved when the grain is rolled, tempered or flaked rather than fed whole as it increases access to starch by microbes in the rumen.
- Processing methods should enhance digestibility without causing digestive dysfunction.
- Steam-flaked corn has higher energy value compared with other corn processing methods, but is also the most costly processing method.
- Feeding high moisture corn, most corn is bought when prices are seasonably low.
- Wet grain processes result in a reduction in dust.