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Kansas Ag News Headlines
Exploring unconventional feed options for cattle
Kansas Ag Connection - 11/30/2023

Alternative feedstuffs in cattle nutrition can include a wide variety of unconventional edibles. K-State Research and Extension beef specialist Justin Waggoner offers insights into this diverse category. For instance, soybean hay, not typically used in cattle feed, has become an alternative due to recent drought conditions.

Waggoner explains that alternative feedstuffs encompass a vast range, from cereal products to chili pepper waste from salsa factories, and even nut hulls. Understanding the production process of these feedstuffs, including potential chemical residues, is crucial.

When considering alternative feeds, Waggoner emphasizes the importance of evaluating potential concerns in the products, such as harmful substances. Logistics also play a significant role, including the volume of the product, delivery expenses, and storage methods.

Packaging is another factor to consider, as some may need to be removed before feeding. Geography influences the availability of certain feedstuffs; for example, poultry litter is a regional product in Kansas.

Waggoner advises cattle producers to conduct a thorough analysis of potential feedstuffs, assessing both macro and micro minerals. In some cases, unexpected elements like heavy metals, which may be byproducts of the production process, have been discovered.

For producers interested in exploring alternative feed options, Waggoner recommends consulting local extension agents to connect with specialists or nutritionists experienced in evaluating these products. This approach ensures safe, effective, and regionally appropriate cattle feeding practices.

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