Carinata Meal: A Potential Feed Supplement

A field of carinata growing at the UF/IFAS Quincy Research Station. Photo Credit: David Wright, UF/IFAS
A field of carinata growing at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research & Education Center, Quincy Florida. Photo Credit: David Wright, UF/IFAS

Nicolas DiLorenzo and Tessa Schulmeister, University of Florida NFREC, Marianna Florida

Around this time of year as days begin to shorten, we are reminded that the time is approaching when we need to think about our beef cattle winter feeding strategy. You may have heard many times from us at the University of Florida about the benefits of grazing winter annuals in this part of the state. North Florida’s winter temperatures allow for a longer growing season of some highly nutritious forage resources. However, the majority of beef producers in the Panhandle do not have access to irrigated pastures to grow winter forages, and they are then left at the mercy of the weather, hoping for rain to sustain good pasture growth.

If you follow the climate news you may have heard that El Nino may bring us a rainy winter, which may be good for winter grazing, unless, as predicted in some forecasts, the moisture is excessive. In terms of having a successful winter grazing season, however, the problem is not the winter moisture but rather moisture levels in the fall when we are planting winter annuals. If we look at moisture conditions for this week in the Florida Panhandle (Fig. 1), the majority of the area is “abnormally dry” or in “moderate drought.” If this does not change soon, the planting of winter forage under dryland conditions (majority of producers) may be delayed, which can have implications in overall productivity.

Figure 1. Moisture conditions in Florida as of September 1, 2015.
Figure 1. Moisture conditions in Florida as of September 1, 2015.

Years like this one remind us that we need to always be looking for new alternatives in terms of feed resources to develop a cost-effective winter feeding program for beef cattle. Efforts are underway to determine the potential of a new oilseed crop called Brassica carinata in Florida. B. carinata, commonly called Ethiopian mustard or simply “carinata,” is a close relative of canola, and has the potential of providing a winter oilseed crop during a time when row crop farmers that do not have cattle, would usually plant a cover crop. More information about the production of this new oilseed can be found in the EDIS document entitled “Carinata Production in Florida.”

One of the unique characteristics of carinata oil is that its fatty acid profile makes it ideal for the production of jet bio-fuel. Currently the University of Florida is involved in a research project to study all the aspects of carinata production, harvesting, and processing for use as a bio-fuel, including the use of the byproduct of the oil extraction as a cattle supplement.

As with many other oilseed crops, the residue after extracting the oil, which comprises approximately 40% of the seed weight, is high in protein and can have potential as cattle feed. The byproduct called carinata meal can be dried and pelleted, and with a protein content of approximately 43% (DM basis), can be an excellent supplement to balance beef cattle winter diets based on bermudagrass or bahiagrass hay.

To test the potential of carinata meal as a cattle supplement, a study was designed at NFREC over 2 consecutive years, in which weaned heifers (~600 lb of of initial body weight (BW)) were placed in two treatments over a 70-day period: 1) receiving only bahiagrass hay, or 2) bahiagrass hay plus B. carinata meal pellets supplemented at 0.3% of the heifers’ BW every day for the entire 70-day period. Figure 2 shows the average daily gain (ADG) of the heifers under each of the treatments. We observed (Fig 2) a difference in ADG of 0.43 lb/d in favor of the carinata meal supplemented heifers, which translates to a total of 30 lb of extra beef per animal at the end of the 70-day feeding period. This extra weight, at today’s cattle prices, equates to $64.5 per head in added value.

Figure 2. Effects of supplementing B. carinata meal (BCM) pellets to beef heifers (600 lb of initial body weight) consuming bahiagrass hay. BCM was supplemented at 0.3% of their BW daily. Figure 2. Effects of supplementing B. carinata meal (BCM) pellets to beef heifers (600 lb of initial body weight) consuming bahiagrass hay. BCM was supplemented at 0.3% of their BW daily.
Figure 2. Effects of supplementing B. carinata meal (BCM) pellets to beef heifers (600 lb of initial body weight) consuming bahiagrass hay. BCM was supplemented at 0.3% of their BW daily.

The key question then, is how much will a ton of carinata meal cost once it is commercially available in the U.S.? While we cannot be sure of what that price will be yet, we can use the cost of canola meal today as a proxy ($280/ton), considering the similar protein content of both byproducts. The total cost of feeding canola meal for 70 days at similar rates as those used in our study would be approximately $18/head. Then the final question is: can we afford to feed carinata meal for a net return of $46/head ($64 – $18)? A few, not minor, extra costs need to be considered: troughs, fuel, labor; however, so far the numbers look promising, as long as those costs do not exceed $46/head.

Keep in mind these data are only from the first year of the study. Stay tuned for more results around April of 2016, to finally determine if it is economically feasible to feed this new byproduct. So far the numbers look promising.




Posted: September 18, 2015

Category: Agriculture
Tags: Beef Cattle, Energy Crops, Forage & Pasture, Forages; Livestock, Panhandle Agriculture


Mary Derrick
May 17, 2016

You or your Master Gardener Coordinator can contact the author of the article Gary Knox at the NFREC for possible tour information.

May 13, 2016

Hi--my name is Pat Watkins and I am a master gardener in Columbia County, FL. I am trying to put together field trips for my group and wonder where I can find info about the Gardens of the Big Bend. If field trips/group tours are not available, then I am personally interested in the Magnolia Gardens. Where can I find out about that, please?

Donna Legare
April 21, 2016

One of my favorites! Nice article - we enjoyed speaking with the Gardening Friends last week and glad we had time to walk through the garden first. Keep up the good work! Thanks Donna

Vanderlei Barbosa
April 19, 2016

Dear Joe: I work with tomato in Brazil, west part of S.Paulo State, and so far TSWV in one of most important virus disease in my area. This article is very important, because I can now be more confident that there is a new strain (TSCV) of tospovirus also occurring in my field. Hopefully TSWV tolerant hybrid tomato could be also be tolerant to this new strain TSCV. Vanderlei Barbosa (Agronomist, tomato grower)

Donna Durgin
April 1, 2016

Good Morning Dr. Ober - Do you have any information on building bat boxes? We would like to build some to put down by our pond on our property - Thanks, Donna D

Doug Mayo
January 25, 2016

Yes I think these numbers are set by the Ag Census and are not completely accurate.

Mary Veitch
January 22, 2016

Would love to have our 6 acres of Blueberries in Jackson County. Mary Veitch Veitch's Blueberry Farm 7772 Howell Rd Sneads, FL 32460

Suzy Young
November 16, 2015

Is there a soil fumigant that works on Sclerotium rolfsii fungus? We have a home garden and have rotated crops but are running out of options.

Doug Mayo
November 16, 2015

Follow the links in this article and go to the App store that applies to your smart phone. If you don't have a smart phone, you can get similar information on the following website:

Doug Mayo
November 16, 2015

Follow the links in this article and go to the App store that applies to your smart phone. If you don't have a smart phone, you can get similar information on the following website:

Dr. Mohamed Kndiel
November 14, 2015

I would like to receive the AI cow calculator

Nicolas DiLorenzo
October 27, 2015

It is a relatively new byproduct but our first estimates based on digestibility and nutrient analyses indicate that the TDN of B. carinata meal should be around 70-75% TDN.

Doug Mayo
October 6, 2015

What is the average TDN value for carinata meal?

Chris merritt
August 30, 2015

Have you tried fixation clover ? I am thinking about in north Jefferson county

Chris Baker
June 27, 2015

I would like to receive the calculator

Gary Knox
June 24, 2015

Thanks for your comment! The Black Diamond series of crapemyrtles have been planted at the UF North Florida Research and Education Center (outside Tallahassee). An older, outstanding planting can be found at the Louisiana State University Hammond Research Center, if you happen to be traveling along I-10 in Louisiana.

Dena DiFilippo
June 24, 2015

I found this article most timely as I just purchased my first crape myrtle ever. It is the black diamond series with red blooms. I can't wait to see how well this performs here. I hope eventually to plant it in my yard also at my home in Brevard county(Melbourne) also. Are there any evaluations ongoing for this new black diamond? It's the first crape myrtle ever that I liked well enough to plant. Thanks!!!!!

Doug Akers
June 23, 2015

Hi Gary, I was just reading the crapemyrtle article and then looked at the bottom to see it was by Gary Knox. Marilyn (Bennett) Akers and I live in Elberta, AL (near Pensacola) six months a year. We've planted several crapemyrtle at our home there. I retired from Purdue Extension 2 summers ago. In case you don't remember, Marilyn was Phil Carpenter's grad student. She say hi! I got a Master's in Botany & Plant Pathology. I was Purdue Extension Educator, Ag & Natural Resources for 30 years. All in Boone County, (Lebanon) less than an hour from W. Lafayette. We still have our home in Lebanon, too. Doug Akers

February 6, 2015

Excellent, and to the well trained ear, this article may well be the best introduction to profitable grazing for all ranchers, and not just for cattlemen. "Adjusting the stocking the most important grazing management tool to improve forage utilization." Well said, but rotational grazing only marginally adjusts the stocking rate and still allows the animals to pick and choose what they eat, taking the best and leaving the worst--thereby affirming that animals don't make good business decisions. Adjusting the stocking density (not rate) using management intensive grazing whereby one restricts the amount of available forage insures the animals consume only an amount of forage required to meet their demands for the day and are then released the next day into a new paddock (subunit). The amount of acreage provided daily can easily be estimated while considering all the factors listed above. The key is inexpensive temporary electric fencing and a good eye for growth rate. For those willing to follow the successful and disregard the "That won't fly around here Sonny"-mentality, I'd point you to "Management-Intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming" by Jim Gerrish; or visit

Matthew Orwat
February 6, 2015

Take a look at this link for info on Crapemyrtle Pruning. Thanks, Matt

Phil Stump
February 6, 2015

What level of pruning is appropriate for a Crepe Mytle? Is there any or should I just let it grow? Thanks! Phil

Matthew Orwat
February 6, 2015

We don't have a button yet..... Just copy and then paste the URL on your facebook page and post it...this will achieve the same effect.

February 4, 2015

I looked for a Facebook "Share" button.

kenneth avery
December 22, 2014

please send me a catalog on you January 17 2015 florida bull test sale. Kenneth avery 2993 county road 67 Hartford Alabama 36344.

thomas loeffler
December 5, 2014

Finally! Would you be able to supply me a list of sellers of trees that are the most scab resistant? I believe now would be a good time to plant a few. Regards, Tom

Doug Mayo
August 4, 2014

I wrote an article few weeks ago on that very topic. Check out this article:

T.J. Gates
August 1, 2014

Other than cutting my hay field, what can be done when army worms are found ? Is there any preventive measure that can be taken to help prevent army worms ? Will adding sulfur to my fertilizer help prevent army worms ? If so how many pounds to the acre ? What can be sprayed to kill army worms ?

Tim Tucker
July 19, 2014

Is there any Balansa Clover seed available for sale to the public? I would love to try some on my farm. Hope I can get over and see all the projects you all have going on. Tim Tucker Uriah AL.

July 16, 2014

I adore pomegranate fruit and shrubs, so I was especially thrilled to learn of this new variety. However, I’m not sure how I feel about one that doesn't produce edible fruit . I've had a pomegranate in my greenhouse for several years, and although it doesn't produce much fruit, it’s always a beautiful, flowering plant. I’d recommend them to anyone. As to fruit, I think the Wonderful variety (as its name implies), is simply wonderful and the most delicious variety I've tried. Richard

May 30, 2014

Hello Peter, My wife and I are new at planting trees. We have 20 acres in North Walton County and the pH is 5.7. Please correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like the fuyu species is the best all-around fruit. We are looking at planting 5-10 trees. In addition to applying fertilizer as you discussed, should we address the pH level as well? Can we obtain the trees through the extension office? If not, can you recommend a source where they are available? We are open to any suggestions you may have. Thank you in advance for your help- Brett

girish karamta
January 12, 2014

sir, can i have more information on above two newly introduced variety of peanuts? if so i will be thankfull to you, I from India guajrat state and we are the farmers and maily cultiviting peanuts on our farms, here is production is around 1ooo kg per acre i.e. 2500 kg per hectare, so please let me know about new variety Thanks

Matthew Orwat
January 10, 2014

The sort of trimming known as "crape murder" will not ensure the long term health of the crapemyrtle. Those repetitive cuts will allow disease and rot to enter the tree. Older cultivars might be in too much shade and not blooming to their full potential. They may also be suffering from powdery mildew, scale or sooty mold. Thinning of the interior of the tree may help. See this publication on crapemyrtle pruning for more information.

January 8, 2014

I love crepe myrtles of any kind. I guess it reminiscent of my grandmother's gardens. In southwest Florida she never cut back our crepe myrtles and they were more like the last photo in bloom. However, here in the Panhandle everyone does what I my sister and I call crepe murder, cutting the trees back. I want to know what is really appropriate. I've always said this was improper, but I notice that the trees that are cut this way to appear more healthy and vibrant each spring. I've moved to a home that has several varieties and the older ones are not doing well (blooming profusely) but I'm afraid it's because I have refused to cut the trees, I just trimmed them a little. Thanks for your help.

Doug Mayo
September 15, 2013

Dr. Anderson was talking about the gradual cooling that occurs normally in Northwest Florida. More damage occurs with extreme temperature changes, like can often happen in South Florida.

Ron Potts
September 14, 2013

What is meant by cold pre-conditioned trees in your article above? Is that something that nature does, or something that the grower can do?

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