Research from Optimum Quality Grains, L.L.C., indicates that the company's high-oil corn varieties could offer significant advantages to cattle feeders. The research, conducted with Iowa State University, used 90 crossbred yearling steers to compare three treatments, high-oil corn, control corn and control corn with 2.7 percent fat added to balance its calorie content with high-oil corn. Steers fed high-oil corn tended to have higher dry-matter intakes and average daily gains than those in the groups fed conventional corn with or without supplemental fat. Feed efficiency was similar for all three treatments. The study also revealed differences in carcass quality between the three treatments.

Compared with the control group, cattle eating high-oil corn or conventional corn plus fat produced higher average marbling scores and a higher percentage of Choice carcasses. The percentage of Choice carcasses from the treatment groups ranged from 43.3 percent in the control group to 56.7 percent in the high-oil corn group to 66.7 percent in the group fed supplemental fat. The corn used in this study was fed as whole, shelled corn. Further research will help determine the ideal processing and supplement formulation for high-oil corn in finishing diets.