Nicolas DiLorenzo and Tessa Schulmeister, UF/IFAS North Florida Research & Education Center, Marianna
Carinata is a novel, non-food oilseed crop, gaining popularity because the oil from the seed can be extracted for use as a 100% drop-in jet biofuel. Because of this, production has recently been increased in the U.S. In the Southeastern U.S., carinata has been successfully incorporated into existing cropping systems, in both crop rotation and as a winter cover crop, due to its cold and drought tolerance and heat and disease resistance. A protein-dense meal (~40% crude protein) is obtained as a byproduct of oil extraction, which offers the potential of carinata meal to be utilized as an alternative protein source in beef cattle diets. The University of Florida has conducted research to evaluate its potential in backgrounding beef cattle diets. However, carinata meal had not previously been tested in finishing beef cattle diets to determine its impact on animal performance, meat quality, and sensory attributes.
Thirty-two Angus crossbred steers were fed a finishing diet (40% cracked corn, 35% soyhull pellets, 5% gin trash, 5% bermudagrass hay, and 5% vitamin-mineral supplement, all in dry matter basis) and supplemented with a protein source of either 10% cottonseed meal or carinata meal (16 steers in each treatment). Growth performance data were collected on the steers after 56 or 105 days on feed, to achieve similar finishing endpoints based on visual appraisal, and as a result, steers were sent to slaughter in two harvesting dates. Steers were transported approximately 250 miles to Fort McCoy Ranch, FM Meat Products, LP (Fort McCoy, FL), where carcass evaluations were performed on harvested steers. Steak samples were collected from each steer and evaluated by the University of Florida Meat Science Laboratory to determine meat sensory attributes.
Steers consuming carinata meal performed similarly to steers consuming cottonseed meal (Table 1).
Steers consuming carinata meal performed similarly to steers consuming cottonseed meal (Table 2).
Sensory Panel Scores
Steers consuming carinata meal performed similarly to steers consuming cottonseed meal (Figure 1).
USDA Quality Grade Distribution
Feeding carinata meal at 10% did not affect the distribution of USDA quality grades when compared to steers fed cottonseed meal at 10% (Figure 2).
Take Home Message
Steers consuming carinata meal performed similarly to steers consuming cottonseed meal in all aspects of the feedlot finishing study, demonstrating the viability of carinata meal to be used as an alternative to cottonseed meal in beef cattle diets. As the acreage of carinata planted in the U.S. increases, the availability of this protein source for beef cattle diets will also increase. Currently, crushing plants in the Midwest are processing seeds, thus carinata meal may become available in our region in the near future. The interest and demand for freezer beef is increasing in our region, and locally available high-protein feedstuffs are much needed when finishing beef cattle. If you have questions about how to use carinata meal in livestock diets, please contact Nico DiLorenzo or your UF/IFAS County Extension Agent.