CSAS Oral Student Competition: MS Session
A 3-year study compared two triticale (Triticosecale) varieties, Bunker and Taza, with a conventional barley (Hordeum vulgare) fed as silage to backgrounding beef steers on the basis of crop dry matter (DM) yield, nutritive value, steer performance, and total daily feeding costs. Each year, 240 fall weaned beef steers were stratified by BW (308 ± 4.9 kg) and allocated to 1 of 3 replicated (n=4) dietary treatments containing Bunker triticale, Taza triticale, or barley silage. Steers were fed a total mixed ration (TMR) consisting of silage (55-68%), barley grain (20-34%), supplement (5%), and (0.4-6%) canola meal (DM basis). Diets were formulated to be isonitrogenous and isocaloric to meet or exceed NRC (2001) requirements for TDN and CP. Crop DM yield of Taza (6750 kg DM ha-1) and Bunker triticale (6592 kg DM ha-1) was similar (P >0.05), and both were greater (P=0.01) than barley (6008 kg DM ha-1). Over 2 years, steer ADG, DMI, G:F, and the calculated NEm, and NEg did not differ (P >0.05) among treatments. Cost per head per day was lowest for Taza fed steers at $1.26 hd-1 d-1, followed by Bunker silage at $1.33 hd-1 d-1, and Barley silage at $1.34 hd-1 d-1. Total cost of gain for Taza, Bunker, and barley fed steers was $0.84, $0.91, and $0.93, per kg of gain, respectively. Study results suggest that Taza and Bunker triticale silage can be used as an alternative to barley silage when fed to backgrounding beef steers.