Increasing feed prices and competition for available commodities has driven beef producers to consider alternate feedstuffs. However, according to University of Idaho researchers presenting at JAM 2013, it is imperative that these alternate feeds do not negatively affect growth, carcass traits, or end product quality.
In the Northwestern U.S. where potato byproduct is commonly used as a corn substitute, the growth, carcass traits and color stability in steers fed either a conventional finishing ration containing corn and barley (CB) or a ration with 10% potato byproduct substituted for corn (PB) has been compared. Involved in the work were K.J. Thornton, M.J. Colle, J.A. Macumber, M.E. Doumit, R. Richard, C.W. Hunt and G.K. Murdoch of the university.
The researchers noted that the rations were balanced for energy and nitrogen.
While steers finished on either a PB or CB finishing ration exhibited no difference in carcass quality, steers fed a PB ration were found to have more tender strip steaks. In contrast, color stability may be increased in the LD of steers finished on a CB ration.
Overall, the researchers said subtle differences in meat quality exist between steers finished on either a CB or PB ration, but both rations result in high-quality beef products.