Effects of soybean hulls, wet brewer's grain or a combination supplement on the performance of forage-fed steers during ...

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Effects of soybean hulls, wet brewer's grain or a combination supplement on the performance of forage-fed steers during backgrounding
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Thomas, Megan
Hersom, Matt
Thrift, Todd
Yelich, Joel
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Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
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Gainesville, Fla.
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Effects of Soybean Hulls, Wet Brewer's Grain or a Combination
Supplement on the Performance of Forage-fed Steers during
Backgrounding


Megan Thomas, Matt Hersom, Todd Thrift, Joel Yelich1


Steers backgrounded with a mix of soybean hulls and wet brewers grains had superior bodyweight
gains compared to individual ingredient supplements. However, steers supplemented with soybeans
hulls were most profitable.


Summary
The objective of this study was to compare the
use two co-products, soybean hulls (SBH), wet
brewers grains (WBG), or a combination of both
co-products, on the performance of
backgrounding steers. Steers were
backgrounded on bahiagrass-bermudagrass
pastures and supplied with Coastal
bermudagrass hay. Supplement treatments were
formulated to offer 3.0 lbs of total digestible
nutrients. Supplement treatments consisted of 1)
SBH (4.2 lb as fed); 2) WBG (20 lb as fed); 3)
WBG/SBH (10.0 lb WBG and 2.09 lb SBH as
fed). From d 0 to 34 average daily gain (ADG)
was greater (P < 0.05) for steers supplemented
with WBG SBH or WBG compared to SBH.
However, across the 51-d backgrounding period
steers supplemented with the combination of
WBG SBH had ADG that was nearly 0.30 lb/d
greater than SBH steers (1.82 vs. 1.54 lb d),
WBG were intermediate (1.66 lb d). Final steer
value was not different among treatments.
However, because of the increased cost of
supplementation associated with the use of WBG
a greater production economic loss was
observed for WBG and WBG SBH supplemented
steers compared to SBH steers alone. Including
a $6.64 100 lb BW backgrounding premium
resulted in less $Ssteer loss for SBH compared to
WBG SBH, which had less loss than WBG.
Application of a premium associated with the
backgrounding process and market timing
differences resulted in a net profit for all three
supplementation scenarios.


Introduction
Backgrounding of cattle is generally utilized to
prepare the calf for subsequent segments of the
beef cattle industry. Cravey (1996) suggested
that backgrounded calves may demonstrate
greater feedlot profitability as a result of greater
feedlot ADG, gain:feed, decreased medicinal
cost and mortality compared to non-
backgrounded cattle. Step et al. (2008) indicated
that calves from a single source that were
retained after weaning for 45 d had less feedlot
morbidity and health cost during the initial
feedlot receiving period compared to
commingled or direct-transported calves after
weaning. The profitability of backgrounding
calves is complicated by many factors including
calf purchase/sale price, feed cost, and medicine
costs (Peel, 2003). In order for backgrounding
to be a feasible practice, consistent profits must
be expected.

Subtropical and tropical grasses are often
deficient in nutrients required by growing cattle
and therefore additional supplementation is
necessary in the diets of growing cattle on a
high-forage diet. Supplementation is also
beneficial in terms of improved animal
performance, improved forage utilization, and
greater overall economic return. With the
increasing cost of corn, many cow-calf and
stocker cattle operations are looking to take
advantage of alternative co-products. By
evaluating the nutritional value of soybean hulls
(SBH) or wet brewer's grain (WBG) in a
supplementation program and their impact on
cattle performance, backgrounding operations in
Florida will be better able to match these


'Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL










available co-products to the dietary requirements
of growing cattle.

Wet brewers grains contain approximately 20%
dry matter (DM) and should not be fed above a
recommended rate of feeding of approximately
0.5% of body weight (BW). Feeding greater
amounts of this supplement can negatively
impact DM intake as a result of the excess
amount of water in the diet. Studies have shown
that DM intake is reduced when DM of the
whole diet falls below 50%. This is an
important consideration regarding cattle gains
during the backgrounding period.

The overall objective of the study was to
investigate the nutritional impact of a co-product
supplementation strategy available to producers
in Florida on backgrounding performance of
steers.

Materials and Methods
Animals and Management
This study was conducted at the Santa Fe Beef
Unit located near Alachua, FL in northern
Alachua County. The experiment was initiated
on September 29, 2008 and ended on November
20, 2008 for a total duration of 51 d. Ninety-
nine Angus and Brangus steers were blocked by
BW and randomly allotted to 1 of 3 treatments
with 3 pens per treatment. Prior to the initiation
of the study, 2 lb (as fed) of a 50:50 mix of
WBG and SBH was fed daily beginning 7 d
prior to the initiation of the experiment to all
calves managed as a large group. At the
initiation of the study 7 Angus and 4 Brangus
steer calves were allotted to a pen. Supplement
treatments were formulated to offer 3.0 lbs of
total digestible nutrients (TDN). Treatments
included: 1) SBH (3.75 lbs. of DM, 4.2 lbs. as
fed); 2) WBG (4.0 lbs. of DM, 20 lbs. as fed); 3)
WBG/SBH (1.5 lbs. DM from WBG, 1.88 lbs.
of DM from SBH; 10.0 and 2.09 lbs. as fed,
respectively). Steers were placed in 2-acre
bahiagrass-bermudagrass pastures that were not
fertilized, and had similar amount of available
forage. In each pen steers were offered Coastal
bermudagrass hay as large round bales.
Supplements were offered daily in the morning,
no supplement refusal was noted. Hay was
offered for ad libitum consumption, 5 to 7 bales
per pen were utilized during the study. Bale
weights were recorded for each bale offered in


each pen. Water and a complete mineral
supplement were offered ad libitum in each pen
throughout the duration of the study. Chemical
composition of pasture, hay, and supplements
are presented in Table 1.

Steers were fed for a total of 51 d, unshrunk BW
were taken on 2 consecutive days at the
initiation and (d 0 and 1) and termination of the
trial (d 50, 51). Interim BWs were obtained on d
17 and 34. The 2-d mean of BW was utilized to
determine initial and final BW and ADG. An
economic analysis was conducted using
estimated costs for pasture, hay, supplements,
health, and calves. Calves were valued for the
study using the mean value from the AMS
Florida Cattle Auctions Weekly Summary report
(AMS, USDA; 2008) for a 550 lb calf (initial
value, $71.10, market value at end of experiment
$77.81/100 lb BW) with a $0.10/100 lb BW
price slide.

Statistical Analysis
The experiment was designed as a completely
randomized design with supplement treatment as
the fixed effect, pen within treatment as the
random effect, and pen as the experimental unit.
Data were analyzed using the Mixed procedure
of SAS v9.2 (2002, SAS Inst. Inc., Cary, NC).
Means were calculated using least squares
means and means separated using the P-diff
option when the overall F-value was <0.10.

Results
At the initiation of the study, steer BW (mean =
554 lb, Table 2) did not differ (P = 0.99) among
treatments. From d 0 to 34, BW gains were not
different (P = 0.15) among treatments, but steers
supplemented with WBG/SBH had ADG that
were 0.30 lb/d greater than SBH or WBG. At
the end of the study, final BW was similar
(mean = 639 lb; P = 0.96) among treatments.
However, 51-d ADG was greater (P < 0.05) for
steers supplemented with a combination of
supplements (WBG/SBH) compared to steers
supplemented with SBH alone, steers
supplemented with WBG were intermediate.
Treatments were formulated to deliver equal
amounts of TDN among treatments. However,
several variables could have affected steer ADG
during the study. Variability of SBH TDN and
crude protein can be quite significant from
published values and could be one cause of the









decreased performance observed in SBH
supplemented steers. Additionally, pasture, hay,
and SBH crude protein contents likely would not
have supported greater steer BW gain based
upon estimated nutrient requirements (NRC,
2002). Similarly, the slightly decreased gain
response observed in WBG steers compared to
WBG/SBH steers could be attributed to the
increased water content of the supplement. Wet
brewers grains contain approximately 20 to 30%
DM, feeding greater amounts of this supplement
could have negatively impacted total intake as a
result of the excess amount of water in the diet.
This is particularly important point to consider
when backgrounding growing cattle with
roughages or pasture forage with significant
water content. Several studies have shown that
DM intake is reduced when DM of the whole
diet falls below 50%. However, estimated hay
offer did not differ among the treatments (11.4,
10.2, and 10.2 lb/steer/d; SBH, WBG/SBH,
WBG, respectively).

Economic evaluation indicated that supplement
costs were nearly three-times greater for WBG
supplemented steers compared to SBH
supplemented steers, WBG/SBH steer
supplement cost were two-times greater than
SBH steers. The increased cost associated with
WBG supplementation is attributable to the
increased amount of supplement provided on an
as fed basis to supply 3.0 lbs of TDN compared
to SBH. Total feed cost and total production
costs followed a similar pattern, SBH steers had
the lowest (P < 0.05) associated costs, followed
by WBG/SBH, and greatest costs were
experienced by the WBG steers. Profit/loss was
directly related to supplement costs. Steers
supplemented with WBG loss the greatest (P <
0.05) amount of money during the
backgrounding period (-$83.08/steer) compared
to WBG/SBH steers (-$63.00/steer). Likewise,
steers supplemented with WBG/SBH indicated a
net loss greater (P < 0.05) than SBH steers ($-
50.10/steer). Calves that are backgrounded
often are able to garner a premium associated


with the backgrounding process. King et al.
(2006) indicated that calves that underwent a
value added calf 45-d program could
realistically expect to receive a $6.64/100 lb BW
premium. If that premium is applied to the final
value of the calves a backgrounding loss is still
demonstrated by all treatments. The largest loss
is exhibited by WBG steers, which was $20.19
greater (P < 0.05) than WBG/SBH which had a
$32.24 greater (P < 0.05) loss than SBH steers.
During this experiment the calf value for 550 lb
steers calves increased. Coupling the
backgrounding premium and the increase in
steer value resulted in a net profit for all
treatments. Steers from the SBH treatment had
the greatest (P < 0.05) profit compared to
WBG/SBH steers. Steers in the WBG treatment
had the lowest profit margin compared to the
other 2 treatments. The concept of
backgrounding cattle is predicated on
profitability associated calf sale price and input
feed costs. In this study a premium associated
with backgrounding and an increase in calf sale
price was necessary to generate a profitable
return to the cost of the calf and other
management inputs.













Table 1. Chemical composition of pasture, hay, and supplements offered to backgrounding beef steers.
Pasture Hay SBH WBG


Mean DM yield, lbs/acre 1,759 --- --- ---
Dry matter, % 57.4 92.4 92.9 35.7
Total digestible nutrients, % 56.3 54.8 80.0 75.0
of DM1
Crude protein, % of DM 9.83 9.73 9.09 27.14
'Estimated from chemical analysis for pasture and hay samples, estimated from NRC (1996) values for
SBH and WBG.


Table 2. Effect of soybean hulls and/or wet brewers grains on bodyweight (BW), gain, and economic
value of backgrounded steers.
Treatment'1
Item SBH WBG/SBH WBG SEM2 P-value
Initial BW, lb 552 551 558 33.5 0.99
Final BW, lb 631a 644b 642b 34.2 0.02
34-d gain, lb/d 1.97a 2.33b 2.04b 0.12 0.05
51-d gain, lb/d 1.54b 1.82a 1.66ab 0.07 0.08
Initial steer value, $3 392.16 391.12 395.71 21.99 0.16
Final steer value, $3 393.70 393.36 393.58 0.96 0.84
Total supplement cost, steere4 16.76 32.61 48.36 --- ---
Total feed cost, steere5 38.28b 51.86a 67.58c 1.57 < 0.001
Total production cost, $/steer6 51.65b 65.23a 80.95c 1.57 < 0.001
Profit/(Loss), $/steer (50.10)a (63.00)b (83.08)c 22.91 0.002
Backgrounding premium, steer value, $7 435.59 436.09 436.21 2.30 0.53
Backgrounding profit/(loss), $/steer (8.22)a (20.26)b (40.45)c 20.65 0.002
Background premium + market change,
steer value, $8 477.91 479.27 479.29 4.49 0.12
Background premium + market change
profit/(loss), $/steer 34.11a 22.92b 2.63c 18.37 0.002
1Least squares means, treatment: SBH 3.75 lbs of soybean hulls; WBG/SBH 1.5 lbs wet brewers grains,
1.88 lbs soybean hulls; WBG 4.0 lbs of wet brewers grains.
2Standard error of the mean, n = 3.
3Initial and final value: $71.10/100 lb BW; calculated with a $0.10/100 lb BW price slide.
4Soybean hulls: $170/ton as fed, wet brewers grains: $78/ton (estimated 20% dry matter delivery).
5Includes hay consumption with a value of $74/ton.
6Includes feed cost, pasture charge of $6.12, and health processing charge of $7.25.
7Backgrounding premium: $6.44/100 lb BW and a $0.10/100 lb BW price slide.
8Backgrounding premium plus market value increase to $77.81/100 lb BW and a $0.10/100 lb BW price
slide.
a, b, cMeans with different superscripts differ P < 0.05.




Full Text

PAGE 1

Summary The objective of this study was to comp are the use two co products, soybean hulls (SBH), wet brewers grains (WBG), or a combination of both co products, on the performance of backgrounding steers. Steers were backgrounded on bahiagrass bermudagrass pastures and supplied with Coastal bermudagra ss hay. Supplement treatments were formulated to offer 3.0 lbs of total digestible nutrients. Supplement treatments consisted of 1) SBH (4.2 lb as fed); 2) WBG (20 lb as fed); 3) WBG/SBH (10.0 l b WBG and 2.09 lb SBH as fed). From d 0 to 34 average daily gain (ADG) was greater (P < 0.05) for steers supplemented with WBG/SBH or WBG compared to SBH However, across the 51 d backgrounding period steers supplemented with the combination of WBG/SBH had ADG that was nearly 0.30 lb/d greater than SBH steers (1.8 2 vs. 1.54 lb/d), WBG were intermediate (1.66 lb/d). Final steer value was not different among treatments. However, because of the increased cost of supplementation associated with the use of WBG a greater production economic loss was observed for WBG an d WBG/SBH supplemented steers compared to SBH steers alone. Including a $6.64/100 lb BW backgrounding premium resulted in less $/steer loss for SBH compared to WBG/SBH, which had less loss than WBG. Application of a premium associated with the backgrounding process and market timing differnces resulted in a net profit for all three supplementation scenarios. Introduction B ackgrounding of cattle is generally utilized to prepare the calf for subsequent segments of the beef cattle industry. Cravey (1996) suggested that backgrounded calves may demonstrate greater feedlot profitability as a result of greater feedlot ADG, gain:feed, decreas ed medicinal cost and mortality compared to non backgrounded cattle. Step et al. (2008) indicated that calves from a single source that were retained after weaning for 45 d had less feedlot morbidity and health cost during the initial feedlot receiving pe riod compared to commingled or direct transported calves after weaning. The profitability of backgrounding calves is complicated by many factors including calf purchase/sale price, feed cost, and medicine costs (Peel, 2003). In order for backgrounding to be a feasible practice, consistent profits must be expected. Subtropical and tropical grasses are often deficient in nutrients required by growing cattle and therefore additional supplementation is necessary in the diets of growing cattle on a high for age diet. Supplementation is also beneficial in terms of improved animal performance, improved forage utilization, and greater overall economic return. With the increasing cost of corn, many cow calf and stocker cattle operations are looking to take adva ntage of alternative co products. By evaluating the nutritional value of soybean hulls supplementation program and their impact on cattle performance, backgrounding operations in Florida will be better able to match these Effects of Soybean H ulls, W et B G rain or a C ombination S upplement on the P erformance of F orage fed S teers during Backgrounding Megan Thomas, Matt Hersom, Todd Thrift, Joel Yelich 1 Steers background ed with a mix of soybean hulls and wet brewers grains had superior bodyweight gains compared to individual ingredient supplements. However, steers supplemented with soybeans hulls were most profitable. 1 Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

PAGE 2

available co products to the dietary requirements of growing cattle. Wet brewers grains contain approximately 20% dry matter ( DM ) and should not be fed above a recommended rate of feeding of appro ximately 0.5% of body weight (BW). Feeding greater amounts of this supplement can negatively impact DM intake as a result of the excess amount of water in the diet. Studies have shown that DM intake is reduced when DM of the whole diet falls below 50%. This is an important consideration regarding cattle gains during the backgrounding period. The overall objective of the study was to investigate the nutritional impact of a co product supplementation strategy available to producers in Florida on backgroun ding performance of steers. Materials and Methods Animals and Management This study was conducted at the Santa Fe Beef Unit located near Alachua, FL in northern Alachua County. The experiment was initiated on September 29, 2008 and ended on November 20, 2008 for a total duration of 51 d. Ninety nine Angus and Brangus steers were blocked by BW and randomly allotted to 1 of 3 treatments with 3 pens per treatment. Prior to the initiation of the study, 2 lb (as fed) of a 50:50 mix of WBG and SBH was fed da ily beginning 7 d prior to the initiation of the experiment to all calves managed as a large group. At the initiation of the study 7 Angus and 4 Brangus steer calves were allotted to a pen. Supplement treatments were formulated to offer 3.0 lbs of total digestible nutrients (TDN). Treatments included: 1) SBH (3.75 lbs. of DM, 4.2 lbs. as fed); 2) WBG (4.0 lbs. of DM, 20 lbs. as fed); 3) WBG/SBH (1.5 lbs. DM from WBG, 1.88 lbs. of DM from SBH; 10.0 and 2.09 lbs. as fed, respectively). Steers were placed in 2 acre bahiagrass bermudagrass pastures that were not fertilized, and had similar amount of available forage. In each pen steers were offered Coastal bermudagrass hay as large round bales. Supplements were offered daily in the morning, no supplement r efusal was noted. Hay was offered for ad libitum consumption, 5 to 7 bales per pen were utilized during the study. Bale weights were recorded for each bale offered in each pen. Water and a complete mineral supplement were offered ad libitum in each pen throughout the duration of the study. Chemical composition of pasture, hay, and supplements are presented in Table 1. Steers were fed for a total of 51 d, unshrunk BW were taken on 2 consecutive days at the initiation and (d 0 and 1) and termination of the trial (d 50, 51). Interim BWs were obtained on d 17 and 34. The 2 d mean of BW was utilized to determine initial and final BW and ADG. An economic analysis was conducted using estimated costs for pasture, hay, supplements, health, and calves. Calve s were valued for the study using the mean value from the AMS Florida Cattle Auctions Weekly Summary report (AMS, USDA; 2008) for a 5 5 0 lb calf ( initial value, $71.10, market value at end of experiment $77.81/100 lb BW) with a $0.10/100 lb BW price slide. Statistical Analysis The experiment was designed as a completely randomized design with supplement treatment as the fixed effect, pen within treatment as the random effect, and pen as the experimental unit. Data were analyzed using the Mixed procedure of SAS v9.2 (2002, SAS Inst. Inc., Cary, NC). Means were calculated using least squares means and means separated using the P diff option when the overall F value was <0.10. Results At the initiation of the study, steer BW (mean = 554 lb, Table 2) did no t differ ( P = 0.99) among treatments. From d 0 to 34, BW gains were not different ( P = 0.15) among treatments, but steers supplemented with WBG/SBH had ADG that were 0.30 lb/d greater than SBH or WBG. At the end of the study, final BW was similar (mean = 639 lb; P = 0.96) among treatments. However, 51 d ADG was greater ( P < 0.05) for steers supplemented with a combination of supplements (WBG/SBH) compared to steers supplemented with SBH alone, steers supplemented with WBG were intermediate. Treatments w ere formulated to deliver equal amounts of TDN among treatments. However, several variables could have affected steer ADG during the study. Variability of SBH TDN and crude protein can be quite significant from published values and could be one cause of the

PAGE 3

decreased performance observed in SBH supplemented steers. Additionally, pasture, hay, and SBH crude protein contents likely would not have supported greater steer BW gain based upon estimated nutrient requirements (NRC, 2002). Similarly, the slightl y decreased gain response observed in WBG steers compared to WBG/SBH steers could be attributed to the increased water content of the supplement. Wet brewers grains contain approximately 20 to 30% DM, feeding greater amounts of this supplement could have negatively impacted total intake as a result of the excess amount of water in the diet. This is particularly important point to consider when backgrounding growing cattle with roughages or pasture forage with significant water content. Several studies have shown that DM intake is reduced when DM of the whole diet falls below 50%. However, estimated hay offer did not differ among the treatments (11.4, 10.2, and 10.2 lb/steer/d; SBH, WBG/SBH, WBG, respectively). Economic evaluation indicated that supplement costs were nearly three times greater for WBG supplemented steers compared to SBH supplemented steers, WBG/SBH steer supplement cost were two times great er than SBH steers. The increased cost associated with WBG supplementation is attributable to the increased amount of supplement provided on an as fed basis to supply 3.0 lbs of TDN compared to SBH. Tota l feed cost and total production costs followed a s imilar pattern, SBH steers had the lowest ( P < 0. 05 ) associated costs, followed by WBG/SBH, and greatest costs were experienced by the WBG steers. Profit/loss was directly related to supplement costs. Steers supplemented with WBG loss the greatest ( P < 0 .05) amount of money during the backgrounding period ( $ 83.08 /steer) compared to WBG/SBH steers ( $ 63.00 /steer). Likewise, steers supplemented with WBG/SBH indicated a net loss greater ( P < 0.05) than SBH steers ( $ 50.10 /steer). Calves that are backgrou nded often are able to garner a premium associated with the backgrounding process. King et al. (2006) indicated that calves that underwent a value added calf 45 d program could realistically expect to receive a $6.64/100 lb BW premium. If that premium is applied to the final value of the calves a backgrounding loss is still demonstrated by all treatments. The largest loss is exhibited by WBG steers, which was $ 20.19 greater ( P < 0.05) than WBG/SBH which had a $ 32.24 greater ( P < 0.05) loss than SBH steer s. During this experiment the calf value for 550 lb steers calves increased. Coupling the backgrounding premium and the increase in steer value resulted in a net profit for all treatments. Steers from the SBH treatment had the greatest ( P < 0.05) profit compared to WBG/SBH steers. Steers in the WBG treatment had the lowest profit margin compared to the other 2 treatments. The concept of backgrounding cattle is predicated on profitability associated calf sale price and input feed costs. In this study a premium associated with backgrounding and an increase in calf sale price was necessary to generate a profitable return to the cost of the calf and other management inputs.

PAGE 4

Table 2. Effect of soybean hulls and/or wet brewers grains on bodyweight (BW), gain, and economic value of backgrounded steers. Treatment 1 Item SBH WBG/SBH WBG SEM 2 P value Initial BW, lb 552 551 558 33.5 0.99 Final BW, lb 631 a 644 b 642 b 34.2 0. 02 34 d gain, lb/d 1.97 a 2.33 b 2.04 b 0.12 0. 0 5 51 d gain, lb/d 1.54 b 1.82 a 1.66 ab 0.07 0.0 8 Initial steer value, $ 3 3 92 16 391.12 395.71 21.99 0. 16 Final steer value, $ 3 393.70 393.36 393.58 0.96 0. 84 Total supplement cost, $/steer 4 16.76 32.61 48.36 ----Total feed cost, $/steer 5 38.28 b 51.86 a 67.58 c 1.57 < 0.001 Total production cost, $/steer 6 51.65 b 65.23 a 80.95 c 1.57 < 0.001 Profit/(Loss) $/steer ( 50.10 ) a ( 63.00 ) b ( 83.08 ) c 22.91 0.00 2 Backgrounding premium steer value, $ 7 435.59 436.09 436.21 2.30 0. 53 Backgrounding profit/(loss), $ /steer (8.22) a (20.26) b (40.45) c 2 0 65 0.00 2 Background premium + market change, steer value, $ 8 477.91 479.27 479.29 4.49 0.12 Background premium + market change profit/(loss), $/steer 34.11 a 22.92 b 2.63 c 18.37 0.002 1 Least squares means, treatment: SBH 3.75 lbs of soybean hulls; WBG/SBH 1.5 lbs wet brewers grains, 1.88 lbs soybean hulls; WBG 4.0 lbs of wet brewers grains. 2 Standard error of the mean, n = 3. 3 Initial and final value: $71.10/100 lb BW; calculated with a $0.10/ 100 lb BW price slide 4 Soybean hulls: $170/ton as fed, wet brewers grains: $78/ton (estimated 20% dry matter delivery). 5 Includes hay consumption with a value of $74/ton. 6 Includes feed cost, pasture charge of $6.12, and health pro cessing charge of $7.25. 7 Backgrounding premium: $6.44/100 lb BW and a $0.10/ 100 lb BW price slide 8 Backgrounding premium plus market value increase to $77.81/100 lb BW and a $0.10/ 100 lb BW price slide. a, b, c Means with different superscripts differ P < 0.05. Table 1. Chemical composition of pasture, hay, and supplements offered to backgrounding beef steers. Pasture Hay SBH WBG Mean DM yield, lbs/acre 1,759 ------Dry matter, % 57.4 92.4 92.9 35.7 Total digestible nutrients, % of DM 1 56.3 54.8 80.0 75.0 Crude protein, % of DM 9.83 9.73 9.09 27.14 1 Estimated from chemical analysis for pasture and hay samples, estimated from NRC (1996) values for SBH and WBG.