March 27, 2008


E. coli prevalence in cattle not affected by dried distillers grains


Cattle fed with steam-flaked corn and cattle fed the same with 25 percent dried distillers grains supplementation have the same prevalence of E. coli 0157:H7 or salmonella, as concluded by a Kansas State University study.


The study, funded by the Kansas Beef Council and National Cattlemen's Beef Association, disagreed with past research suggesting that feeding cattle dried distillers grains increased the shedding of E. coli in fecal matter.


The researchers said in the report that the inclusion of distillers grains or corn processing methods does not significantly affect the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 or salmonella in cattle feces.


On the other hand, researchers at the University of Nebraska have found that cattle fed 40 to 50 percent distillers grains had increased rates of E. coli, while cattle given 10 to 30 percent of the grains had lower E. coli levels than those on an all-corn diet.


The relationship between feeding cattle dried distillers grain and E. coli prevalence is also being studied by USDA.


Results are expected later this year.

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