Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, December 24, 1977, Image 88

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    —Lancaster Farming, Saturday, December 24,1977
Cement dust puts mysterious gain on cattle
Georgia farmers who fed
cement kiln dust to their
cattle as a mineral sup
plement noticed such
significant weight gains that
the dust has become the
subject of research by
scientists of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.
In studies by scientists of
USDA’s Agricultural
Research Service (ARS),
steers fed a low-quality
forage diet containing
cement kiln dust not only
gained weight faster but also
ate less feed and produced
higher-grading carcasses
than steers on a control diet.
Dust-fed steers graded an
average of top choice:
control steers averaged top
The AES scientists at the
Belts ville Agricultural
Research Center, Beltsville,
Md., do not know why
cement kiln dust increases
weight gains and they
caution farmers against
feeding cement kiln dust to
■y 1
-T'H ■ our friends. With appreciation for
w-s- s
Burnell, Paul Sr, Paul Jr, Bert and Galen Hiestand
their cattle until further
research can be done.
Cement kiln dust results
from mixing and curing the
ingredients used to make
Portland cement - 99 per
cent of all cement made in
this country. The cement
mixture is heated to 1500
degrees Celsius and mixed;
about 12 per cent is filtered
out of the air as dust. Nearly
33,000 tons of dust are
collected daily by Portland
cement plants in this
country. Only a small
amount of the dust is
recycled for making cement
or used for agricultural
Dr. William E. Wheeler,
an AES animal scientist, has
several theories why the
dust increases weight gams.
“The dust is high in
minerals, particularly
calcium (27 per cent),” he
said. “It could be the
mineral content of the dust;
the high temperatures to
which the dust is heated; or
the fineness of the dust
people in the world.,enr clients..
pour confidence we wish pon a
1 p bout the consistency of
face powder).
“The research does in
dicate that we have a long
way to go in understanding
the mineral requirements of
livestock,” Dr. Wheeler
said. “Our control diet was
formulated to satisfy all
National Research Council
(NRC) recommendations for
growing-finishing steers,
whereas the dust diet was
not. Yet the cattle fed
cement kiln dust had a 28 per
cent faster rate of gam than
those fed the control diet.”
Dr. Wheeler and Dr.
Robert R. Oltjen, now
director of USDA’s Meat
Animal Research Center,
Clay Center, Neb., became
interested in the effects of
cement kiln dust on cattle
when they were contacted by
three Georgia farmers. The
farmers were liming their
pastures and decided to add
some of the high-calcium
dust to the diet of over
wintering steers. Although
the steers were getting a
nutritionally poor diet (50
per cent soybean straw and
50 per cent snapped com),
they gained almost 4 pounds
per day when kiln dust was
added to the diet.
“We talked with the far
mers and obtained some of
the cement kiln dust from
Georgia,” Dr. Wheeler said.
“We knew the implications
for beef production would be
tremendous if cattle gained
as well on controlled tests as
they did on the farm.”
Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Oltjen
formulated two diets and fed
them to two groups of seven
steers weighing an average
of 750 pounds. The control
group received a diet con
sisting of 53 per cent hay, 34
per cent cracked com and
supplemental protein,
minerals and salt, to meet
NRC recommendations for
growing-finishing steers.
The dust-fed group received
set for elders
LANCASTER - The Senior
Citizen Employment
Program, sponsored by the
Lancaster County Office of
the Aging, is continuing to
interview interested ap
plicants from 8:30 a.m. to
5:00 p.m. every Tuesday.
Beginning January 3, 1978,
these interviews will be
conducted at the Office of
Aging, 50 N. Duke Street,
For more information,
please call Office of Agmg at
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the hay and com plus 3.5 per
cent cement kiln dust and no
additional supplements. The
control diet contained 12 per
cent crude protein; the dust
diet, 8 per cent.
Steers fed cement kiln dust
gained .64 pound more per
day during the 112-day study
and required 21 per cent less
feed per pound of gain than
control steers. Dust-fed
steers gained about 3 pounds
per day; control steers,
about 2.3 pounds per day.
“Tremendous amounts of
cement kiln dust are
produced not only in this
country, but in many of the
developing countries,” Dr.
Wheeler said. “This opens
up new avenues of research
that could lead to low-cost
haul or little haul. . .
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production of quality beef.”
Additional research
now underway at Beltsville
indicate that the kiln dust
increases gains not only in
cattle hut also in sheep.
Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Oltjen
conducted gross studies of
the liver, spleen, rumen,
kidneys and heart of steers
fed the control and dust
diets. They found nothing
abnormal in any of the
organs: however, they said
that studies must be done to
determine whether or not
residues from the dust ac
cumulates m either edible
tissues or organs of the
animals. Cement kiln dust
has not been approved by
regulatory agencies as a
feed additive.
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