Over the past few days I attended the 4th Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) Conference in Reno, Nevada. The conference was put on by the GLCI and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), part of the USDA. I gave a presentation entitled “Holistic Management of Native Meadows in Eastern California and Western Nevada”. The rest of the time I watched presentations from other ranchers and researchers. Most of these presentations incorporated using new grazing methods to improve the quality of grazing lands, improving the profitability of your operation and examples of successful operations. I learned a lot and met many interesting people from across the country.
Stocker calves coming up for thier DDG on a -19 F morning last week
On the last day I sat in on some presentations dealing with stocker cattle. A common theme I noticed is the use of Dried Distiller’s Grains (DDG) or Wet Distiller’s Grains (WDG) as supplemental feed for cattle on winter pasture. Both DDG and WDG are by products of corn based ethanol. The wet product has to be shipped and fed fairly close to the production facility as it has a short useful life. The dried product can be shipped anywhere in the country. The advantage of these byproducts is the high energy and mid level protein they provide.
Our ranch first learned about DDG during the annual “Cattleman’s Update” put on by the University of Nevada in January 2008. A professor from Oregon presented his research on using DDG as winter supplementation. That fall when alfalfa hay in our area reached record high prices, we built a bunker and ordered a truckload of DDG from a place in California More...