• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Object of experiment
 Method of procedure
 Results of the experiment
 Composition of feeds
 Digestible nutrients consumed
 Summary
 Literature cited














Group Title: Bulletin / University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ;
Title: Comparative feeding value of silages made from Napier grass, sorghum and sugarcane /
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101443/00001
 Material Information
Title: Comparative feeding value of silages made from Napier grass, sorghum and sugarcane /
Series Title: Bulletin / University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ;
Physical Description: 18 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Shealey, A. L
Kirk, W. Gordon ( William Gordon ), 1898-1979
Crown, R. M ( Raymond Merchant ), 1901-
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla
Gainesville, Fla
Publication Date: 1941
Copyright Date: 1941
 Subjects
Subject: Cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Feeds -- Composition   ( lcsh )
Sorghum as feed   ( lcsh )
Sugarcane as feed   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 18).
Statement of Responsibility: by A.L. Shealey, W.G. Kirk, and R.M. Crown.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00101443
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 18219680

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    Object of experiment
        Page 4
    Method of procedure
        Page 5
    Results of the experiment
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Composition of feeds
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Digestible nutrients consumed
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Summary
        Page 17
    Literature cited
        Page 18
Full Text



Bulletin 358


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
WILMON NEWELL, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA







Comparative Feeding Value of Silages
Made From Napier Grass,
Sorghum and Sugarcane


A. L. Shealy, W. G. Kirk, and R. M. Crown










TECHNICAL BULLETIN









Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


May, 1941






EXECUTIVE STAFF
John J. Tigert, M. A., LL.D., President
of the University-
Wilmon Newell, D.Sc., Director3
Harold Mowry, M. S. A., Asst. Dir.,
Research
W. M. Fifield, M. S.. Asst. to Director
J. Francis Cooper, M. S. A., Editor3
Jefferson Thomas, Assistant Editors
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Assistant Editors
Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian
Ruby Newhall, Administrative Manager3
K. H. Graham, Business Managers
Rachel McQuarrie, Accountants
MAIN STATION, GAINESVILLE
AGRONOMY
W. E. Stokes, M.S., Agronomist'
W. A. Leukel, Ph.D., Agronomists
Fred H. Hull. Ph.D., Agronomist
G. E. Ritchey, M.P., Associate3
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate
John P. Camp, M.S., Assistant
Roy E. Blaser. M.S., Assistant
ANIMAL INDUSTRY
A. L. Shealy, D.V.M., Animal Indus-
trailists
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Dairy Husbandman2
E. L. Fouts, Ph.D., Dairy Technologist'
T. R. Freeman, Ph.D., Associate in Dairy
Manufactures
W. M. Neal. Ph.D.. Asso. in An. Nutrition
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian
M. W. Emmel, D.V.M.. Veterinarian3
L. E. Swanson, D.V.M., Parasitologist
D. J. Smith, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.
N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr.. Poultry Husb.'
P. T. Dix Arnold, M.S.A., Asst. Dairy
Husbandman3
L. L. Rusoff, Ph. D., Asst. in An.
Nutrition3
SOILS
R. V. Allison. Ph.D., Chemist' 3
Gaylord M. Volk. M.S., Chemist
F. B. Smith, Ph.D., Microbiologists
C. E. Bell, Ph.D.. Associate Chemist
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant Chemist
J. Russell Henderson, M.S.A., Associates
L. H. Rogers, M.S., Asso. Biochemist
Richard A. Carrigan, B.S., Asst. Chemist
ECONOMICS, AGRICULTURAL
C. V. Noble, Ph.D., Agr. Economist' 3
Zach Savage. M.S.A., Associate
Max E. Brunk, M.S., Asst. Agr. Econ.
A. H. Spurlock, M.S.A., Assistant
ECONOMICS, HOME
Ouida D. Abbott, Ph.D., Home Econ-
omist'
Ruth Overstreet, R.N., Assistant
R. B. French, Ph.D., Asso. Chemist
ENTOMOLOGY
J. R. Watson, A.M., Entomologist'
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Associate
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A., Assistant
HORTICULTURE
G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Horticulturist'
A. L. Stahl. Ph.D.. Associate
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Truck Hort.8
R. J. Wilmot, M.S.A., Fumigation
Specialist
R. D. Dickey, M.S.A., Asst. Horticulturist
J. Carlton Cain, B.S.A., Asst. Hort.
Victor F. Nettles, M.S.A.. Asst. Hort.
Lee B. Nash, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
F. S. Lagasse, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturists
H. M. Sell, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturists
PLANT PATHOLOGY
W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Pathologisti a
George F. Weber, Ph.D., Plant Path.3
L. O. Gratz, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist
Lillian E. Arnold, M.S., Asst. Botanist


BOARD OF CONTROL
H. P. Adair, Chairman, Jacksonville
W. M. Palmer, Ocala
R. H. Gore, Fort Lauderdale
N. B. Jordan, Quincy
T. T. Scott, Live Oak
J. T. Diamond, Secretary, Tallahassee

BRANCH STATIONS
NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY
J. D. Warner, M.S., Agron. Acting in Chg.
R. R. Kinkaid, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
Elliott Whitehurst, B.S.A., Assistant An.
Husbandman
Jesse Reeves, Asst. Agron., Tobacco
CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED
A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Horticulturist in Chg.
John H. Jeffries, Asst. in Cit. Breeding
Chas. K. Clark, Ph.D., Asst. Chemist
Vernon C. Jamison, Ph.D., Soil Chemist
B. R. Fudge, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
W. L. Thompson, B.S., Associate
Entomologist
F. F. Cowart, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
W. W. Lawless, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist
R. K. Voorhees, M.S., Asst. Plant Path.
EVERGLADES STA., BELLE GLADE
J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Biochemist in Chg.
J. W. Wilson, Sc.D., Entomologist
F. D. Stevens, B.S.. Sugarcane Agron.
Thomas Bregger, Ph.D., Sugarcane
Physiologist
Frederick Boyd, Ph.D., Asst. Agronomist
G. R. Townsend, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
R. W. Kidder, M.S.,Asst. An. Husbandman
W. T. Forsee, Ph.D., Asso. Chemist
B. S. Clayton, B.S.C.E., Drainage En-
gineer2
F. S. Andrews, Ph.D., Asso. Truck Hort.
SUB-TROPICAL STA., HOMESTEAD
Geo. D. Ruehle, Ph.D., Associate Plant
Pathologist Acting in Charge
S. J. Lynch, B.S.A., Asst. Horticulturist
E. M. Andersen, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
W. CENTRAL FLA. STA.,
BROOKSVILLE
W. F. Ward. M.S., Asst. An. Husbandman
in Charges
RANGE CATTLE STA., WAUCHULA
W. G. Kirk, Ph.D., Animal Husbandman
in Charge
FIELD STATIONS
Leesburg
M. N. Walker, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
in Charge
K. W. Loucks, M.S., Assistant Plant
Pathologist
Plant City
A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Hastings
A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
E. N. McCubbin, Ph.D., Asso. Truck
Horticulturist
Monticello
Samuel O. Hill, B.S.. Asst. Entomologists
Bradenton
Jos. R. Beckenbach, Ph.D., Truck Horti-
culturist in Charge
David G. Kelbert. Asst. Plant Pathologist
Sanford
R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Chemist in
Charge, Celery Investigations
W. B. Shippy, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
Lakeland
E. S. Ellison, Meteorologists
B. H. Moore, AB., Asst. Meteorologists


'Head of Department
2In cooperation with U. S.
'Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.












COMPARATIVE FEEDING VALUE OF SILAGES MADE FROM
NAPIER GRASS, SORGHUM, AND SUGARCANE

A. L. Shealy, W. G. Kirk, and R. M. Crown*

CONTENTS
PAGE PAGE
Object of Experiment _~~.--..- ---- 4 Results of the Experiment. ------ 6
Method of Procedure .......-- ...---. 5 Composition of Feeds....-....~... ------ 10
Feeds ...- _--__ 5 Digestible Nutrients Consumed ......... 12
Minerals -...... --................---- 6 Summary _..........-- -......................... 17
Animals .._.. 6 Literature Cited ........-.....- .......... 18

As the grade of beef cattle is improved in Florida through
the use of purebred bulls on native and grade cows, more steers
will be fed by cattlemen and farmers in future years than in the
past.
The cow can utilize large quantities of roughages, and even
in fattening rations where much of the nutritients must come
from concentrates, the roughage problem is an important one.
When feeding beef cattle in Florida it is especially important to
make maximum use of roughage, since only a limited amount
of grain can be produced.
In considering roughages it is important to determine the
kind that should be used, whether hay or silage. In many sec-
tions it is rather difficult to cure hay, hence most cattlemen
think of silage as the roughage to use. If silage is selected as
roughage, then the next point to consider is the kind of silage.
Corn has been grown for silage for decades and is considered
as the silage crop supreme; however, on the light sandy soils of
Florida the yield of corn is low, making it important to consider
other crops for silage. Such crops as sugarcane, Napier grass
and sorghum generally make larger yields of cut forage than
corn and may be ensiled successfully.
Use of the trench silo makes it possible for many cattlemen
to store roughage in the form of silage with comparatively little
initial cost for silos. As feeding operations expand, however,
a more permanent type is often constructed, especially if the
trench silo is dug in sandy soil.

'Italic figures in parentheses refer to "Literature Cited" in the back of
this bulletin.
*Formerly Assistant Animal Husbandman, Florida Agricultural Experi-
ment Station.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


Numerous investigations have shown that corn silage has a
higher feeding value than sweet sorghum silage. Morrison (6)
summarized 12 experiments in which good quality sorghum sil-
age and corn silage were used as roughage in the rations of fat-
tening steers, and showed that the average daily gain on sorghum
silage was 1.87 pounds and on corn silage 2.07 pounds. He stated
further:
"These results show that sweet sorghum should not be
grown in place of corn silage for fattening cattle unless the aver-
age yield is enough larger to make up the difference in value per
ton. In the sorghum belt this will generally be the case, and
also it will often be true in certain districts of the South where
sorghum far outyields corn for forage."
A comparison of corn silage with sweet sorghum silage for
fattening steers was made by Good, Horlacher, and Grimes (4).
The results of this experiment showed that pound for pound
sorghum silage was 72.20 percent as efficient as corn silage.
Gayle and Lloyd (3) found that one pound of corn silage is
equivalent in feeding value to 1.124 pounds of Early Amber
sorghum and 1.134 pounds of Texas Seeded Ribbon Cane sor-
ghum. Results of this experiment showed Early Amber sorghum
silage to be 88.96 percent as efficient as corn silage and Texas
Seeded Ribbon Cane silage 88.18 percent as valuable as silage
made from corn.
Goodell (5) showed that sorghum silage was 88.88 percent as
valuable as corn silage when fed to steers.
In a feeding trial conducted by Buchanan (2) sorghum sil-
age proved to be 86.87 percent as efficient as corn silage.
Sugarcane has not been used as extensively for silage in the
South as has sweet sorghum; however, its use for this purpose
is increasing with the greater use of silages for feeding beef cat-
tle. Quesenberry (9) found that sugarcane silage was 74.13 per-
cent as valuable as corn silage.
The first comparative feeding trial in which Napier grass
silage was used as a roughage in fattening steers is the one re-
ported herein.
OBJECT OF EXPERIMENT
Since Napier grass, sorghum, and sugarcane are adapted to
many types of soil found in this state, it was deemed important








Comparative Feeding Value of Silages


to determine the relative feeding value of silages made from
these crops. Accordingly, comparative feeding trials were con-
ducted with steers using Napier grass silage, sorghum silage and
sugarcane silage as roughages.
METHOD OF PROCEDURE
The experiment was conducted at the Main Station for three
seasons; the first period was 1934-35; the second, 1935-36; and the
third 1937-38. The first two feeding periods were for 130 days
each while the third extended 120 days. A preliminary feeding
period of 10 days was conducted just prior to the beginning of
each experimental feeding trial. The steers were weighed in-
dividually on three consecutive days at the beginning and at the
'close of each feeding trial. The averages of the three consecu-
tive weights were taken in each instance as the initial and final
weights, respectively. Weights were recorded at 28-day inter-
vals. The steers were fed about 7:00 A. M. and 4:30 P. M. each
day.
At the beginning of each test the steers were divided as uni-
formly as possible from the standpoint of age, weight, and grade
of feeder steers into the various lots. At the close of the feeding
period they were graded as slaughter steers, transported to a
packinghouse, and slaughtered. The dressing percent was ob-
tained for each lot. After being chilled, the carcasses were grad-
ed according to standard grades for beef carcasses designated by
United States Department of Agriculture.
Feeds.-The Napier grass, sorghum and sugarcane silages
used in this experiment were stored in trench silos.
The Napier grass used consisted of a mixed planting of sev-
eral strains. The grass was cut when from 7 to 8 feet high, just
before the bloom began to develop. Texas Seeded Ribbon Cane
was the variety of sorghum used and was cut when the seeds
were in the dough stage. Cayana 10 sugarcane was used. The
sugarcane was cut about the first of November each year, so that
there would be no damage from frost, yet late enough to permit
maturity in the plants.
In addition to the roughages, a uniform concentrate mixture
of two parts ground snapped corn and one part cottonseed meal
was used. The corn was ground shortly after it was harvested.
Cottonseed meal containing 41 percent protein, the highest grade
sold in Florida, was used in all trials.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


The animals were fed all the roughage they would eat. The
concentrates were increased gradually when the animals indicat-
ed they would consume more of the grain mixture and still eat a
sufficient quantity of roughage so that definite comparisons
could be made of the silages.

Minerals.-Mineral supplements, consisting of steamed bone-
meal, common salt and the "salt sick" mineral were kept before
the steers at all times. The "salt sick" mineral used' consisted of
the following ingredients:

Sodium chloride, 100 pounds
Red oxide of iron, 25 pounds
Copper sulfate, 1 pound

These ingredients were mixed thoroughly and the mixture
was placed in one compartment of a mineral box. Steamed bone-
meal and common salt were placed in adjoining compartments.

Animals.-The steers used each year in this experiment were
mostly yearlings, with an occasional two-year old in each lot.
They were obtained from ranges in the central and southern
parts of the state and had received no supplemental feed as
calves. Generally they were first-cross animals, having been
sired by purebred bulls and out of native Florida cows. The beef
breeds represented were Aberdeen-Angus, Hereford and Brah-
man; however, Hereford predominated.

RESULTS OF THE EXPERIMENT

During the 1934-35 feeding period, 36 steers were divided
into three lots of 12 each, designated as Lots I, II, and III. The
steers in Lot I received Napier grass silage; Lot II, sorghum si-
lage; and Lot III, sugarcane silage. The concentrate mixture con-
sisting of ground snapped corn and cottonseed meal was given
to all lots. Results obtained during the first year of the feeding
trial are given in Table 1.


2The "salt sick" mineral now used includes the addition of 1 ounce of
cobalt sulfate.








Comparative Feeding Value of Silages


TABLE 1.-COMPARISON OF SILAGES MADE FROM NAPIER GRASS, SORGHUM, AND
SUGARCANE As ROUGHAGES IN THE RATIONS OF STEERS, 1934-35 FEEDING PERIOD.

Date of test: December 6, 1934, to April 15, 1935.
Length of test: 130 days.


Lot I


Lot II


Lot III


Napier Grass Sorghum Sugarcane
Roughage Used Silage Silage Silage
Number of Steers 12 12 12

pounds pounds pounds
Average initial weight per steer 575.0 569.0 562.0
Average final weight per steer 806.0 829.0 799.0
Average gain per steer ..----- 231.0 261.0 237.0
Gain by lot ..----- -- 2,770.0 3,130.0 2,844.0
Average daily gain --- 1.78 2.01 1.82

Average amount of feed consumed
per steer:
Napier grass silage -- 3,353.0
Sorghum silage -------- 4,134.0
Sugarcane silage -- -- -------- 3,309.0
Ground snapped corn --- 1,000.0 1,000.0 1,000.0
Cottonseed meal -- 500.0 500.0 500.0

Average amount of feed consumed
daily per steer:
Napier grass silage ----- 25.79
Sorghum silage ---- ----- -- 31.80
Sugarcane silage ------- --- -- 25.46
Ground snapped corn ..---- 7.69 7.69 7.69
Cottonseed meal ------- 3.85 3.85 3.85

Amount of feed required for main-
tenance and to produce 100
pounds gain:
Napier grass silage 1,453.60
Sorghum silage -- -- 1,584.60
Sugarcane silage -- ---- 1,396.40
Ground snapped corn 433.28 383.44 421.94
Cottonseed meal ------- 216.64 191.72 210.97

Marketing data:
Av. grade of feeder steers Low Good High Medium High Medium
Av. grade of slaughter steers Medium High Medium Medium
Slaughter data:
Average grade of carcass after
killing ------- Medium High Medium High Medium
Average dressing percent*..--- 57.30 59.30 58.46

*Calculated on live weight at time of slaughter and warm dressed weight.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


The feeding trial 1935-36 was identical in all phases with
that of 1934-35. Table 2 gives the results obtained during the
second year's test.

TABLE 2.-COMPARISON OF SILAGES MADE FROM NAPIER GRASS, SORGHUM, AND
SUGARCANE AS ROUGHAGES IN THE RATIONS OF STEERS, 1935-36 FEEDING PERIOD.
Date of test: November 23, 1935, to March 31, 1936.
Length of test: 130 days.
Lot I Lot II Lot III
Napier Grass Sorghum Sugarcane
Roughage Used Silage Silage Silage
Number of steers 12 12 12
pounds pounds pounds
Average initial weight per steer 578.0 558.0 576.0
Average final weight per steer -_ 822.0 843.0 796.0
Average gain per steer __-......- 244.0 285.0 220.0
Gain per lot ----- -- 2,927.0 3,414.0 2,641.0
Average daily gain -..-.-__.------. 1.87 2.18 1.69
Average amount of feed consumed
per steer:
Napier grass silage -- .._----- 3,596.4
Sorghum silage ------- 3,852.0
Sugarcane silage --------.---- 2,887.8
Ground snapped corn ----- 1,088.7 1,088.7 1,088.7
Cottonseed Meal ...----.... ------ 544.3 544.3 544.3
Average amount of feed consumed
daily per steer:
Napier grass silage .------------- 27.66
Sorghum silage 29.63 -.
Sugarcane silage ------------- -----22.21
Ground snapped corn 8.37 8.37 8.37
Cottonseed meal ... ........... 4.19 4.19 4.19
Amount of feed required for main-
tenance and to produce 100
pounds gain:
Napier grass silage ------..---- 1,474.64 --- ---
Sorghum silage ... ------ --. 1,353.99
Sugarcane silage -- ---- ---- -....- 1,312.06
Ground snapped corn _....--- 446.38 382.67 494.62
Cottonseed meal -----..---------. 223.19 191.34 247.31
Marketing data:
Average grade of feeder steers. Medium Medium Medium
Av. grade of slaughter steers_- Medium Medium Medium
Slaughter data:
Average grade of carcass after
chilling ----- High Med Low Good High Med.
Average dressing percent* ---..... 57.35 61.01 57.87
*Calculated on live weight at time of slaughter and warm dressed weight.
The third year's test was identical with the previous two
tests except that 10 steers were used in each lot, instead of 12, and
the feeding period extended 120 days instead of 130 as in the
previous tests.







Comparative Feeding Value of Silages


\, 9


Table 3 gives the third year's results.

TABLE 3.-COMPARISON OF SILAGES MADE FROM NAPIER GRASS, SORGHUM, AND
SUGARCANE As ROUGHAGES IN THE RATIONS OF STEERS, 1937-38 FEEDING PERIOD.

Date of test: October 26, 1937, to February 22, 1938.
Length of test: 120 days.


Lot I


Lot II


Lot III


Napier Grass Sorghum Sugarcane
Roughage Used Silage Silage Silage
Number of steers 10 10 10

pounds pounds pounds
Average initial weight per steer 561.0 555.0 553.0
Average final weight per steer -- 775.0 803.0 774.0
Average gain per steer ----------- 215.0 247.0 221.0
Gain by lots ------ 2,147.0 2,472.0 2,211.0
Average daily gain -- -- 1.79 2.06 1.84

Average amount of feed consumed
per steer:
Napier grass silage --- 3,219.0
Sorghum silage 3,290.1
Sugarcane silage ------- ---- 2,635.7
Ground snapped corn .... 1,042.3 1,042.3 1,042.3
Cottonseed meal ---- 521.2 521.2 521.2

Average amount of feed consumed
daily per steer:
Napier grass silage --- 26.83
Sorghum silage -- 27.42
Sugarcane silage -------- -- 21.96
Ground snapped corn -- 8.69 8.69 8.69
Cottonseed meal 4.34 4.34 4.34

Amount of feed required for main-
tenance and to produce 100
pounds of gain:
Napier grass silage --- 1,499.30
Sorghum silage ------ 1,330.96
Sugarcane silage ---.-- -- --- .. 1,192.08
Ground snapped corn ---...-... 485.47 429.46 474.11
Cottonseed meal 242.75 210.84 235.73

Marketing data:
Average grade of feeder steers -- High Med. High Med. High Med.
Average grade of slaughter steers Medium High Med. Medium
Slaughter data:
Average grade of carcass after
chilling _- -------- High Med. High Med. Medium
Average dressing percent* ...... 59.41 62.66 59.00

*Calculated on live weight at time of slaughter and warm dressed weight.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


A summary of results obtained for three feeding periods is
given in Table 4.

TABLE 4.-SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF THREE FEEDING PERIODS, SHOWING RATIONS,
TOTAL GAINS, AND AVERAGE DAILY GAINS MADE BY STEERS IN DIFFERENT LOTS.

1934-35* 1935-36* 1937-38** Average

pounds pounds pounds pounds
Lot I
Average daily ration:
Napier grass silage --__....---.. 25.79 27.66 26.83 26.76
Ground snapped corn --.---- 7.69 8.37 8.69 8.25
Cottonseed meal _- 3.85 4.19 4.34 4.13
Total gain for lot ---- 2769.60 2926.80 2147.00 2829.20***
Average daily gain ---- 1.78 1.87 1.79 1.81
Lot II
Average daily ration:
Sorghum silage ----------- 31.80 29.63 27.42 29.62
Ground snapped corn ------- 7.69 8.37 8.69 8.25
Cottonseed meal .-- 3.85 4.19 4.34 4.13
Total gain for lot --- 3129.60 3414.00 2472.00 3252.40
Average daily gain 2.01 2.18 2.06 2.08
Lot III
Average daily ration:
Sugarcane silage ---- 25.46 22.21 21.96 23.21
Ground snapped corn -...---- 7.69 8.37 8.69 .8.25
Cottonseed meal ..---- 3.85 4.19 4.34 4.13
Total gain for lot --------- 2844.00 2641.20 2211.00 2793.20***
Average daily gain -....-------. 1.82 1.69 1.84 1.79

*Twelve steers in each lot; feeding period 130 days.
**Ten steers in each lot; feeding period 120 days.
***Weighted averages.
COMPOSITION OF FEEDS
Silage samples were collected at 28-day intervals during each
of the three trials. Five samples each of Napier grass, sorghum,
and sugarcane silages during the first and second feeding trials
and four samples of these silages during the third trial were tak-
en for chemical analyses. A composite sample from both the
ground snapped corn and cottonseed meal for each trial was ob-
tained by sampling every tenth bag. The average composition
of all feeds* used during the three feeding trials is presented in
Table 5. These data were used as a basis in calculating the di-
gestible crude protein and total digestible nutrients consumed
by the three lots of steers in each of the three trials.

*All chemical analyses were conducted under the direction of W. M.
Neal, Associate in Animal Nutrition.








Comparative Feeding Value of Silages


TABLE 5.-AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF FEEDS USED IN THE THREE STEER FEEDING
TRIALS.
Dry Matter Basis
Dry Crude Crude Nitrogen-Free Crude
Matter Protein Fiber Extract Fat Ash


percent percent percent


percent percent percent


Napier grass silage
1934-35 25.32
1935-36 23.56
1Q'7 1R K1


4.66 43.22
4.32 41.24
S'3A A) 4 1


43.61
45.31
A') 1R


2.34 6.17
2.36, 6.77
) A 17 An


-t- u .U U J. ,.U, -' J.uJ. ,. -J .,.-J I .Eu

Sorghum silage
1934-35 22.31 5.48 28.32 55.61 2.90 7.69
1935-36 24.12 6.24 26.11 58.29 2.82 6.54
1937-38 21.77 7.03 26.63 58.03 2.62 5.69

Sugarcane silage
1934-35 22.96 3.82 39.15 50.57 2.50 3.96
1935-36 23.80 4.32 38.58 49.71 2.51 4.88
1937-38 18.04 3.67 43.30 46.31 2.25 4.52

Ground snapped corn
1934-35 87.36 10.03 10.92 74.30 2.30 2.45
1935-36 90.14 9.01 12.36 73.14 3.07 2.42
1937-38 89.06 7.88 13.18 74.26 3.08 1.60

Cottonseed meal 1
1934-35 91.57 44.77 10.92 30.66 6.82 6.83
1935-36 91.85 43.49 11.10 30.52 7.89 7.00
1937-38 90.65 45.88 8.59 30.62 8.11 6.80


The digestion coefficients used for each feed in calculating
the digestible nutrients consumed by the steers during the three
feeding trials are presented in Table 6.

TABLE 6.-DIGESTION COEFFICIENTS OF NAPIER GRASS, SOR HUM, AND SUGARCANE
SILAGES, GROUND SNAPPED CORN AND COTTONSEED MEAL.
Napier Grass Sorghum Sugarcane Ground Cottonseed
Silage Silage** Silage Snapped Meal**
Corn
Crude protein 50* 50* 50* 69 81
Crude fiber -__------- 50 57 53 55 45
Nitrogen-free extract 40 65 45 84 71
Fat ---- 65 58 41 87 94

*This value was assumed. **Morrison (6).

Neal, Becker and Arnold (8) conducted a digestion trial with
steers and determined the digestion coefficients of the nutrients
contained in Napier grass silage, while Neal (7) conducted a
similar trial with sugarcane silage.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


The Napier grass and sugarcane silages used in the above
digestion trials contained relatively small amounts of protein,
and the final results indicated a negative protein balance. The
experimental animals were probably in a negative protein bal-
ance which depressed the digestibility of the protein in the
silages. Due to the extremely low protein content of Napier
grass and sugarcane silages, which made an accurate determina-
tion of the coefficient of digestibility impossible, an arbitrary
figure of 50 percent digestibility of crude protein was assumed.
Since Morrison (6) did not give a digestion coefficient for the
protein of sorghum silage, a value of 50 percent digestibility
was assumed as with the other silages of this nutrient.
The digestion coefficient as summarized by Morrison (6)
were used for sorghum silage and cottonseed meal. The digestion
coefficients for ground snapped corn were calculated indirectly,
since there were no data available for this feed. Becker (1)
found that snapped, field run, dent corn consisted of 69.5 per
cent kernel, 16.8 percent husk, and 13.7 percent cob. The average
composition and digestion coefficients of kernel, husk and cob
were obtained "from Morrison (6)". The data given in Table 7
were used to calculate the digestion coefficients for ground
snapped corn.

TABLE 7.-COMPOSITION AND DIGESTIBLE COEFFICIENTS FOR KERNEL, HUSK AND
COBB OF SNAPPED CORN.
SAverage Total Composition** Digestion Coefficients**
Snapped
Corn Nitrogen- Nitrogen-
Crude Crude Free Crude Crude Crude Free Crude
%* Protein Fiber Ext. Fat Protein Fiber Ext. Fat
Kernel 69.5 9.7 2.3 71.1 4.0 76 57 94 91
Husk 16.8 3.1 25.3 44.5 0.8 13 52 47 26
Cob 13.7 2.3 32.0 54.1 0.4 19 56 51 25
Becker (1), **Morrison (6).

DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS CONSUMED
The calculated digestible nutrients furnished by the various
feeds are presented in Tables 8, 9, and 10, for Lots I, II, and III,
respectively. Because of differences in duration of feeding trials,
there was a lower average intake of total digestible nutrients
per steer in the third trial as compared with the two preceding
trials. In every instance the nitrogen-free extract supplied more







Comparative Feeding Value of Silages


than half the total digestible nutrients consumed. The crude pro-
tein supplied slightly more digestible nutrients than did the
crude fiber, while fat furnished the least.

TABLE 8.-THE DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS AND TOTAL ASH CONTENT OF THE DIFFER-
ENT FEEDS CONSUMED PER STEER IN LOT I IN THE THREE FEEDING TRIALS.


1934-35*
Napier grass silage
Ground snapped corn
Cottonseed meal

TOTAL
1935-36*
Napier grass silage
Ground snapped corn
Cottonseed meal
TOTAL
1937-38**
Napier grass silage
Ground snapped corn
Cottonseed meal
TOTAL


Crude Crude Nitrogen- Fat
Protein Fiber Free Ext. Equiv.
pounds pounds pounds pounds


20
61
166

247

18
61
176

255

14
51
175

240


184
48
23

255

175
66
25

266

114
67
18

199


149
542
100

791

154
600
108

862

90
576
103

769


29
39
66

134

29
59
84

172

19
56
81

156


Total
Ash
pounds

52
21
31

104

57
24
35

116

40
15
32

87


*Twelve steers fed for 130 days. **Ten steers fed for 120 days.

TABLE 9.-THE DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENT AND TOTAL ASH CONTENT OF THE DIFFER-
ENT FEEDS CONSUMED PER STEER IN LOT II IN THE THREE FEEDING TRIALS.


Crude Crude Nitrogen- Fat
Protein Fiber Free Ext. Equiv.


1934-35*
Sorghum silage
Ground snapped corn
Cottonseed meal

TOTAL
1935-36*
Sorghum silage
Ground snapped corn
Cottonseed meal

TOTAL
1937-38"*
Sorghum silage
Ground snapped corn
Cottonsw ed meal

TOTAL


pounds pounds pounds


25
61
166

252


149
48
23

220


pounds pounds


333
542
100

975


71
21
31

123


29 138 352 34 61
61 66 600 59 24
176 25 108 84 35

266 229 1,060 177 120


*Twelve steers fed for 130 days. **Ten steers fed for 120 days.


Total
Ash







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE 10.-THE DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENT AND TOTAL ASH CONTENT OF THE DIFFER-
ENT FEEDS CONSUMED PER STEER IN LOT III IN THE THREE FEEDING TRIALS.
Crude Crude Nitrogen- Fat Total
Protein Fiber Free Ext. Equiv. Ash
pounds pounds pounds pounds pounds
1934-35*
Sugarcane silage 15 157 174 18 30
Ground snapped corn 61 48 542 3.9 2
Cottonseed meal 166 23 100 66 31
TOTAL 242 228 816 123 82
1935-36*
Sugarcane silage 15 139 154 16 34
Ground snapped corn 61 66 600 59 24
Cottonseed meal 176 25 108 84 35
TOTAL 252 230 862 159 93
1937-38**
Sugarcane silage 8 108 100 10 22
Ground snapped corn 51 67 \576 56 15
Cottonseed meal 175 18 103 81 32
TOTAL 234 193 779 147 69
*Twelve steers fed for 130 days. **Ten steers fed for 120 days.
The three lots of steers in each trial were fed the same
amount of ground snapped corn and cottonseed meal daily and
as much of their respective silages as they would consume. Thus
any differences in digestible crude protein and total digestible
nutrient intake were due to the silages fed. As has been shown
the consumption of sorghum silage by the steers in Lot II was
greater than the amounts of Napier grass and sugarcane silage
consumed by steers in Lots I and III. In addition the digestion
coefficients for nitrogen-free extract and crude fiber were con-
siderably greater for the sorghum silage than for the Napier
grass and sugarcane silages. Thus the steers in Lot II, during
each of the three feeding periods, consumed a larger amount
of total digestible nutrients than did the steers in Lots I or III.
The average total digestible nutrient intake and gain per
steer, together with the digestible nutrients required for main-
tenance and to produce one pound of gain, are given in Table 11.
The animals fed sorghum silage consumed the most digestible
crude protein and total digestible nutrients, hence made the
largest average gain during each of the three feeding trials.
The steers fed sugarcane silage in the first trial required the
least, 5.94 pounds, and in the second trial the most, 6.83 pounds,
of the total digestible nutrients per pound of gain. This indicated
that sugarcane silage was more variable from year to year in
fattening qualities than the Napier grass and sorghum silages.








Comparative Feeding Value of Silages 15

TABLE 11.-AVERAGE DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENT INTAKE PER STEER AND DIGESTIBLE
NUTRIENTS REQUIRED FOR MAINTENANCE AND TO PRODUCE ONE POUND GAIN.


Average
Digestible Nutrient
Intake per Steer


Crude
Feeding Protein
Period pounds
Lot I. Napier
grass silage
1934-35* 247
1935-36* 256
1937-38** 240
Lot II. Sorghum
silage
1934-35* 252
1935-36* 267
1937-38** 251
Lot III. Sugar-
cane silage
1934-35* 241
1935-36* 252
1937-38** 235
*Feeding period 130


Total Diges-
tible Nutrients


Average
Gain
per
Steer


Digestible Nutrients Required
For Maintenance and to Pro-
duce One Pound Gain
Crude Total Diges-
Protein tible Nutrients


pounds pounds pounds pounds


1,426
1,556
1,363


1,587
1,733
1,555


1,407 237
1,503 220
1,354 221
days. **Feeding period


1.07
1.05
1.11


0.97
0.94
1.02


1.02
1.15
1.06
120 days.


The comparative values of Napier grass, sorghum and sug-
arcane silages for fattening steers were calculated and are pre-
sented in Table 12.
TABLE 12.-COMPARATIVE FEEDING VALUE OF SILAGES MADE FROM NAPIER GRASS,
SORGHUM AND SUGARCANE AS SHOWN BY THE TOTAL DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS
CONSUMED.


Napier grass silage
Sorghum silage
Sugarcane silage
Ground snapped corn
Cottonseed meal
Total digestible nutrients
consumed


Avg. Consumption
of Feed per Steer*
pounds
3,478.7
3,850.0
3,017.5
1,072.6**
536.3**


Lot I Lot II Lot III
Napier Sorghum Sugarcane
Grass Silage Silage
Silage
Digestible Nutrients Consumed
per Steer*
pounds pounds pounds
338.2
S 520.1
---- -- 310.8
762.9 762.9 762.9
385.3 385.3 385.3

1,486.4 1,668.3 1,459.0
Gains per Steer*


Average gain per steer 235.8 271.0 232.8
Average daily gain 1.81 2.08 1.79
Digestible nutrients required Comparison of Silages
to produce one pound gain 6.30 6.16 6.27
Digestible nutrients obtained from
silage for each pound of gain 1.43 1.92 1.34
Comparative value of silages,
assigning 100 to sorghum 75.00 100.00 70.00
Pounds of silage equivalent to
one Dound of sorghum silage in
feeding value 1.36 1.00 1.43
*Weighted averages.
**All lots were fed the same amount of ground snapped corn and cot-
tonseed meal.








Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


The steers receiving Napier grass silage required 6.30 pounds
of total digestible nutrients per pound of gain, while those fed
sorghum silage required 6.16 pounds, and sugarcane silage 6.27
pounds. Table 12 also shows that the sorghum silage provided
1.92 pounds of digestible nutrients per pound of gain while Napier
grass silage provided 1.43 pounds and sugarcane silage 1.34
pounds. Assuming a feeding value for sorghum silage of 100,
Napier grass silage had a value of 75, and sugarcane silage a value
of 70. In other words, one pound of sorghum silage was equival-
ent to 1.36 pounds of Napier grass silage or 1.43 pounds of sugar-
cane silage. Thus on a digestible nutrient basis the sorghum
silage was superior as a roughage for fattening steers.

The percentages of digestible nutrients obtained from each
of the feeds in the three rations were calculated and are given
in Table 13.
TABLE 13.-THE PERCENT OF TOTAL DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS OBTAINED FROM EACH
FEED FOR THE THREE TRIALS.
First Second Third
Trial Trial Trial Average
percent percent percent percent
Lot I
Napier grass silage 27 24 17 23
Ground snapped corn 48 51 55 51
Cottonseed meal 25 25 28 26
Lot II
Sorghum silage 34 32 28 31
Ground snapped corn 44 45 48 46
Cottonseed meal 22 23 24 23
Lot III
Sugarcane silage 26 22 17 22
Ground snapped corn 49 52 55 52
Cottonseed meal 25 26 28 26
These data show that a larger proportion of total digestible
nutrients was obtained from the silages during the first feeding
trial than during the two succeeding trials. The steers fed Napier
grass and sugarcane silages obtained approximately the same
percent of total digestible nutrients from these silages and from
the carbonaceous and protein feeds. However, those fed sorghum
silage received a larger proportion of total digestible nutrients
in each trial from the silage and a correspondingly. smaller
amount from the ground snapped corn and cottonseed meal. The
averages for the three trials show that Napier grass silage sup-
plied 23, sorghum silage 31, and sugarcane silage 22 percent of
the total digestible nutrients consumed.







Comparative Feeding Value of Silages


SUMMARY
Three feeding trials with Florida-bred grade steers were
conducted to determine the comparative feeding values of silages
made from Napier grass, sorghum and sugarcane. The concen-
trate part of the ration consisted of ground snapped corn and
cottonseed meal.
In each trial the same amount of concentrate feed was given
to each lot and as much of their respective silages as they would
consume. Thus any difference in rate and economy of gains was
due to the silage in the rations. The steers consumed more sor-
ghum silage in each of the three trials than those receiving Napier
grass or sugarcane silages.
Chemical analyses showed that sorghum silage contained
more dry matter, crude protein and nitrogen-free extract than
the Napier grass or the sugarcane silage. Digestion coefficients
for crude fiber and nitrogen-free extract of sorghum silage were
considerably higher than for these nutrients in Napier grass and
sugarcane silages. Thus sorghum silage contained more digesti-
ble nutrients pound for pound, which increased its feeding value
as compared with the other silages.
The steers fed sorghum silage made an average daily gain
of 2.08 pounds while those fed Napier grass silage and sugarcane
silage gained daily 1.81 pounds and 1.79 pounds, respectively.
The animals fed Napier grass silage required 6.30 pounds of
total digestible nutrients per pound of gain; those fed sorghum
silage required 6.16 pounds, while the steers fed sugarcane silage
required 6.27 pounds.
The Napier grass silage supplied 1.42 pounds of the total di-
gestible nutritients required per pound of gain while sorghum si-
lage supplied 1.92 pounds and sugarcane silage 1.34 pounds.
If a value of 100 is assumed for sorghum silage, on a com-
parative feeding basis, then Napier grass silage is valued at 75,
and sugarcane silage at 70, as roughage for fattening steers.
One pound of sorghum silage is equivalent in feeding value
to 1.36 pounds of Napier grass silage and 1.43 pounds of sugar-
cane silage for fattening steers.








18 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

LITERATURE CITED

1. Becker, R. B., Ground snapped corn. Proc. So. Agr. Workers, p. 99,
1936.
L-2C Buchanan, D. S., Comparison of roughage for finishing steers. Miss.
Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 278. 1930.
t-3. Gayle, H. K., and E. R. Lloyd. Silages for fattening steers. Miss.
Agr. Expit. Sta. Bul. 182. 1917.
!4. Good, E. L., L. J. Horlacher and J. C. Grimes. A comparison of corn
silage and sorghum silage for fattening steers. Ky. Agr. Expt. Sta.
Bul. 233. 1921.
5. Goodell, C. J. Steer feeding experiments. Corn, sorgum and sun-
flower silages. Miss. Agri. Expt. Sta. Bul. 222. 1924.
6. Morrison, F. B. Feeds and feeding. The Morrison Pub. Co. p.p. 693,
954-993. 1936.
7. Neal, W. M. Composition and nutrient content of sugarcane as fresh
forage, shocked fodder and silage. Jour. Dairy Sci. 23: 365. 1940.
8. Neal, W. M., R. B. Becker and P. T. Dix Arnold. The digestible
nutrient content of Napier grass silage, Crotalaria intermedia silage
and Natal grass hay. Fla. Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 279. 1935.
9. Quesenberry, J. R. Steer feeding in the sugarcane belt. U. S. D. A.
Dept. Bul. 1318. 1925.




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