University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Two experiments were conducted to compare corn, dried distillers’ grains (DDG), and pelleted soybean hulls (SH) as supplements for cattle grazing bermudagrass. In Exp. 1, 66 crossbred steers (306 ± 3.2 kg) were stratified by weight and allotted randomly to six 2.4-ha bermudagrass pastures for a 107-d study. One of three supplement treatments (corn, DDG, or SH) was assigned randomly to each pasture group and was offered at 0.5% (as fed) of body weight. Calves were weighed at 28-d intervals and supplement was adjusted after each weigh period. In Exp. 2, five ruminally cannulated steers grazed bermudagrass pasture and were individually fed supplements (corn, DDG, or SH) at 0.5% of body weight in a 3 x 3 replicated, incomplete Latin-square design with a 14-d adaptation and a 5-d sampling period. In Exp. 1, supplementation with DDG and corn increased (P < 0.04) the average daily gain compared to supplementation with SH (0.89, 0.87, and 0.74 kg for DDG, corn, and SH, respectively). In Exp. 2, in situ dry-matter-disappearance kinetic measures of bermudagrass were not affected by type of supplementation. The potential extent of digestion for DDG (93%) was lower than for corn (97%, P = 0.01) and SH (96%, P = 0.06). Supplementation with corn or DDG at 0.5% of body weight improved the gain of stocker cattle grazing bermudagrass compared to supplementation with SH, but these differences were not explained by differences in bermudagrass degradation kinetics