DECATUR, ILL. -- Archer Daniels Midland Co. and China Agricultural University on March 15 announced plans for a research program to study the replacement of corn in cattle rations with a mix of corn processing co-products and corn stover -- stalks, cobs and leaves remaining on a filed after harvest.

Livestock consumption of corn in China totals 112 million tonnes annually, according to ADM, a figure the company said could be halved through the use of these other products.

“In more than 20 cattle-feeding trials, which ADM has conducted in partnership with three leading U.S. agricultural research universities, researchers have been able to replace more than 60% of the grain in ruminants’ diets with a mixture of stover treated with hydrated lime — a common food ingredient — and high-protein distillers’ grains without negatively impacting the animals’ growth and development,” ADM said, noting that China is the world’s second largest corn consumer.

ADM said it would fund a two-year research program, and ADM researchers will work with Dr. Shengli Li, a professor of dairy science at C.A.U., to conduct a series of feeding trials.

“We at China Agricultural University are pleased to join with ADM to help investigate the potential to reduce dairy farmers’ cost-per-head, and to preserve valuable grain for higher-value uses,” said Dr. Li.