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Invited Review: Rise of craft breweries in the southeastern USA increases supplement availability for beef cattle

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      ABSTRACT

      Purpose

      The purpose of this invited review was to discuss the current state of craft beer production and the generation, nutritional variability, and importance of wet brewers grains (WBG) as a livestock feed. This article also takes an in-depth look at logistical challenges of using WBG as a feed resource and how local communities are mitigating those challenges.

      Sources

      Information provided came from the combination of published scientific resources and through experiences based on outreach services and real-world applications of using WBG as a byproduct feed for beef cattle.

      Synthesis

      Wet brewers grains are often a cheap or no-cost feed for beef cattle producers located near craft breweries. The high concentrations of CP and digestible fiber make it a byproduct of interest for many beef cattle production systems. Moisture content is the greatest limitation, and additives for improved fermentation may be needed during storage of this high-moisture feed.

      Conclusions and Applications

      The rise of craft breweries has increased the availability of WBG, which is an affordable feedstuff for beef cattle producers located near a brewery. Although there is variability in WBG between brews and craft breweries, successful incorporation of this byproduct into diets has occurred in all sectors of the beef industry. The on-farm handling and storage of WBG should be considered, and the addition of a feed additive may help to prevent spoilage and extend WBG shelf life. In local communities, logistical challenges may be somewhat averted when several smaller beef cattle producers work together on a WBG contract.

      Key words

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