Study will examine how kernal traits affect performance in swine, poultry

US - How do the kernel traits of the corn in swine and poultry feed influence weight gain and performance? Researchers with Golden Harvest Seeds, Inc., and Iowa State University are working together to identify the relationship through a Golden Harvest-funded study that began in November 2004. The study picks up where a Nebraska beef cattle study left off.

Historically, many livestock producers have preferred hard, higher test-weight corn. That line of thinking was challenged by a team of scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Golden Harvest in a 2003 study of feedlot beef cattle performance.

Results from that study demonstrated that test weight was not a good indicator of animal performance.

"Cattle fed a dry rolled corn-based diet consisting of corn with higher proportions of softer endosperm gained more efficiently compared to cattle fed harder endosperm grain," according to Galen Erickson, UNL Beef Feedlot Research and Extension Specialist and lead researcher on the study.

"Results from the beef cattle study taught us how important this knowledge can be for the entire industry," says Rob Robinson, joint operating head at Golden Harvest in Waterloo, Nebraska. "With the added resources of Syngenta, we'll have even more opportunities to step up the pace on our research efforts and to explore how genetics can be put to better use in the field and on the farm for food animal production."

The Golden Harvest Agronomy Up Front Research team is now working with researchers at Iowa State University to study the influence of corn kernel characteristics on swine, poultry broiler and poultry layer performance, says Wayne Fithian, Golden Harvest agronomy systems manager.

This feeding trial may reveal similarities to the beef cattle study or it could demonstrate a different but equally important set of kernel traits that can be used to predict the best hybrids for feeding swine and poultry, the researchers say.

calendar icon 28 April 2005
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