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Comparison of Soybean, Canola and Sunflower Meal for Stocker Operations

Lourenco, J.M. and co-workers

Research was undertaken to evaluate the replacement value of soybean meal (SBM) with canola meal (CM) and sunflower meal (SM) as a protein supplement in a corn silage-based stocker operation. Over a three-year period, weaned calves were assigned to experimental treatments consisting of 75% corn silage, 15% ground ear corn and the soybean, canola or sunflower meal protein supplement. In vitro digestibility studies were also conducted comparing the oilseed meals.

Results showed that the cattle’s dry matter intake were similar for all three treatments, however, average daily gain was greater (P=0.007) for the SBM and CM treatments compared to the SM treatment (1,29, 1,28 & 1.20 kg/d). Cattle fed the SBM and CM treatments had similar average daily again and feed efficiencies. Differences were observed in cost of gain (1.13, 1.09 & 1.10 $/kg of BW gain) for the SBM, CM and SM treatments. (Editor’s note: This research again supports the concept that a feed ingredient’s use in a ration is based on primarily three factors: it’s availability, composition and price. SBM is competitive with other oilseed protein meal since it is widely available, contains high levels of digestible amino acids and energy, and is competitively priced.)