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Friday, July 17, 2015

Feeding Poor Quality Wheat & Straw to Cattle

ifr150717–96
Feeding Poor Quality Wheat & Straw to Cattle
Travis Meteer, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist - University of Illinois

The soft red winter wheat crop in the United States is in pretty bad condition. Some of it will most certainly be fed to livestock. Todd Gleason has more on how beef producers should use wheat and wheat straw.

The soft red winter wheat crop is in poor condition and some…
2:15 radio
2:31 radio self contained

The soft red winter wheat crop is in poor condition and some of it will not be used to make cookies and crackers and pastries. Instead it will be fed to livestock, most likely beef cattle. If this is the case the first thing to do with the wheat says University of Illinois Beef Cattle Specialist Travis Meteer (meh-tir) is to store it properly.

Meteer :25 …and stop any future problems in storage.

Quote Summary - What I mean by that is to quickly get the grain dried down and stop the growth of that mycotoxin. At higher moisture levels, over eighteen percent, that problem can proliferate. So, we recommend producers harvest the grain, get it dried down, and stop any future problems in storage.

Meteer goes on to say it is important to know how much mycotoxin, in this case vomitoxin sometimes referred to as DON (don), is present in the wheat.

Meteer :27 …parts per million would, then, be the limit for the total ration.

Quote Summary - That will be key to understanding how much can be put into the ration and how to prepare the feed blend. FDA puts out recommended levels. In cattle it is ten parts per million if we are feeding fifty percent of the ration as grain. Five parts per million would, then, be the limit for the total ration.

These levels are based in part on feed refusal data. Meaning, if there is more vomitoxin in the ration than five parts per million the cattle might simply decide not to eat it. The other part of this picture relates to the straw harvested from a damaged soft red winter wheat crop.

Meteer :25 …may be useable for feed.

Quote Summary - If you choose to feed the straw, then it must be included in the parts per million calculation. It does impact the total level of mycotoxin in the ration and whether or not it is useable for feed.

The FDA feed ration parts per million guidelines are post on the web. If you search Google for the following terms ‘mycotoxin, FDA, and livestock feed’ the first item that comes up should be a pdf file on NGFA’s website. NGFA stands for National Grain and Feed Association.