Biotechnology, genetic engineering, and traditional plant breeding are rapidly making possible many corn composition modifications that affect livestock feeding.
The primary benefits of modified corn for feed are reduced feed costs per unit of weight gain or milk and egg production; reduced animal waste, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus; reduced veterinary costs and improved disease resistance; improved processing characteristics (e.g., reduced dust, ease of grinding or steam flaking, etc.) to make the feed; and improved meat quality (e.g., amounts of lean and fat, fatty acid composition, and other factors having human health implications).
This report covers modifications that affect feed costs and can be evaluated by least-cost feed formulation.
In this work, the team considered how new traits would affect grain composition; often making one specific change caused changes in other grain constituents.
Corn compositions that reflect enhancements in individual traits were developed and evaluated using the Brill Feed Formulation System for ration balancing at least cost.
Feed savings were then spread over the amount of modified corn used in the diets to arrive at an "added value per bushel." Allocation of additional value among producers, handlers, seed producers, feed producers, and feeders will be determined by the market.
This study includes determinations of the value of modified corn value in the diets for swine, poultry (layers, broilers, and turkeys) and beef cattle. We also examined different age segments because the needs of very young animals (starters) are different from those of older, mature animals (finishers).
Although livestock feeders consider many different age segments, we chose to consider only two--starters and finishers. Diets for intermediate growth stages produce intermediate results.
Twenty-four genetic modifications to corn having potential to reduce feed costs were identified and evaluated
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Article made possible through the contribution of the Iowa State University.