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Review corn particle size to improve beef feeding efficiency

  K-State study finds grinding corn too fine can lead to digestive problems, too coarse can be costly.

According to a new study out from Kansas State University, corn particle size can affect digestibility and how cattle efficiently use the grain for energy and growth – meaning cattle producers will likely need to take a second look at how they are preparing their rations.

"There is a strong relationship between smaller particle size and increased digestibility of the starch (from grain)," says Chris Reinhardt, feedlot specialist for K-State Research and Extension. "Regardless of what kind of grain, we feed it for the starch component. The more starch we can get digested, whether that be in the rumen or downstream from the rumen, improves the return on the investment in that grain."

In a recently completed study, Reinhardt sought to find the average corn particle size Midwest feedlots use in finishing cattle diets. The idea was to learn common practices in feedlots that do not use steam-flaked corn, but instead use a form of dry processing for corn, such as dry rolling or hammer milling.

To read more from the feed study, click here.

 

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