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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Effect of dried distillers grains plus solubles on enteric methane emissions and nitrogen excretion from growing beef cattle1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 91 No. 6, p. 2846-2857
    Received: June 14, 2012
    Accepted: Mar 2, 2013
    Published: November 25, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. M. Hünerberg*†,
  2. S. M. McGinn,
  3. K. A. Beauchemin,
  4. E. K. Okine*,
  5. O. M. Harstad and
  6. T. A. McAllister 2
  1. Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2P5, Canada
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1, Canada
    Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway


The objectives of this study were to examine the impact of corn- or wheat-based dried distillers grains with solubles (CDDGS or WDDGS) on enteric methane (CH4) emissions from growing beef cattle and determine if the oil in CDDGS was responsible for any response observed. Effects of CDDGS or WDDGS on total N excretion and partitioning between urine and fecal N were also examined in this replicated 4 × 4 Latin square using 16 ruminally cannulated crossbreed heifers (388.5 ± 34.9 kg of initial BW). The control diet contained (DM basis) 55% whole crop barley silage, 35% barley grain, 5% canola meal, and 5% vitamin and mineral supplement. Three dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) diets were formulated by replacing barley grain and canola meal (40% of dietary DM) with CDDGS, WDDGS, or WDDGS plus corn oil (WDDGS+oil). For WDDGS+oil, corn oil was added to WDDGS (4.11% fat DM basis) to achieve the same fat level as in CDDGS (9.95% fat DM basis). All total mixed diets were fed once daily ad libitum. Total collection of urine and feces was conducted between d 11 and 14. Enteric CH4 was measured between d 18 and 21 using 4 environmental chambers (2 animals fed the same diet per chamber). Methane emissions per kilogram of DM intake (DMI) and as percent of GE intake (GEI) among heifers fed WDDGS (23.9 g/kg DMI and 7.3% of GEI) and the control (25.3 g/kg DMI and 7.8% of GEI) were similar (P = 0.21 and P = 0.19) whereas heifers fed CDDGS (21.5 g/kg DMI and 6.6% of GEI) and WDDGS+oil (21.1 g/kg DMI and 6.3% of GEI) produced less (P < 0.05) CH4. Total N excretion (g/d) differed (P < 0.001) among treatments with WDDGS resulting in the greatest total N excretion (303 g/d) followed by WDDGS+oil (259 g/d), CDDGS (206 g/d), and the control diet (170 g/d), respectively. Compared with the control diet, heifers offered WDDGS, CDDGS, and WDDGS+oil excreted less fecal N (P < 0.001) but more (P < 0.001) urinary N. Results suggest that high-fat CDDGS or WDDGS+oil can mitigate enteric CH4 emissions in growing beef cattle. However, to completely assess the impact of DDGS on greenhouse gas emissions of growing feedlot cattle, the potential contribution of increased N excretion to heightened NH3 and nitrous oxide emissions requires consideration.

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