Can I feed sugar beet pulp to beef cattle?

Beef Cattle February 26, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
Yes, sugar beet pulp can be used in a variety of beef cattle diets. Sugar beet pulp contains 9.1% CP, 31% ADF, 0.72% calcium, and 0.20% phosphorus. Sugar beet pulp is a highly digestible fiber source. It is sold in both wet and dry forms. The dry product contains approximately 10% moisture. Wet sugar beet pulp moisture contents vary from plant to plant due to differences in processing equipment but typically average 75% moisture. Due to the high moisture content of wet sugar beet pulp, transportation costs must be considered when deciding to feed this product. Sugar beet pulp can be used as a source of supplemental energy in beef cow diets or as an ingredient in backgrounding and finishing rations (primarily as a source of highly digestible roughage). Because of the low protein content of sugar beet pulp, supplemental protein is typically needed in most applications, especially if low-quality forages are being fed. Dry sugar beet pulp can be stored in flat storage (e.g., Quonsets or steel buildings). Wet sugar beet pulp should be fed within two weeks of delivery to prevent spoilage and shrink losses. However, it can be stored in silage bags (AgBags) as a means to prolong storage time and reduce spoilage. Costs of bagging the material should be carefully evaluated against the estimated spoilage and shrink.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.