Extension News

ISU Researchers Help Cattle Producers Use Ethanol Co-products Effectively

3/23/2010

AMES, Iowa – It only takes a few minutes to participate in Iowa State University research with the potential to help countless feedlot producers.

Research concerning sulfur-induced polioencephalomalacia (PEM) is currently under way at Iowa State University and the Iowa Beef Center. Beef nutritionists and veterinarians are working together to understand how sulfur induced-PEM develops and are attempting to develop diagnostic tools and strategies for preventing this disease. The strategies being developed by ISU’s research team should allow beef producers to increase the amount of ethanol co-products included in their diets, says Mary Drewnoski, ISU post-doc and member of the research team.

The high sulfur content of ethanol co-products is one of the major factors limiting the inclusion level of ethanol co-products in cattle diets. Excess sulfur in cattle diets can result in PEM, commonly referred to as polio or brainers.

To get a better idea of current ethanol co-product feeding practices, feedlot incidences of PEM and other dietary factors that may lead to PEM, Drewnoski and the ISU research team have created a short survey for feedlot producers to complete. In the few minutes that it takes to reply to this brief survey, producers can help researchers help Iowa’s cattle producers.

Feedlot producers interested in taking the survey should go to www.iowabeefcenter.org and click on the survey link on the right hand side of the page. To learn more about the survey or the PEM research being conducted at Iowa State, contact Drewnoski at (515) 294-3448 or medrewno@iastate.edu

About the Iowa Beef Center
The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It serves as the university’s extension program to cattle producers and is comprised of faculty and staff from ISU Extension and the colleges of agriculture and life sciences and veterinary medicine. Together, the Iowa Beef Center’s members work to develop and deliver the latest in research based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about the Iowa Beef Center, visit www.iowabeefcenter.org or check out the IBC blog at http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/iowabeef/.

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Contacts :
Mary Drewnoski,  Iowa State University post-doc research associate, (515) 294-3448, medrewno@iastate.edu

Taylor Gerling Shore, Iowa Beef Center communications specialist, (515) 708-4133, tgerling@iastate.edu

Willy Klein, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0662, wklein@iastate.edu