Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 47, Number 4 (July 1994) by Subjects
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Extended grazing systems for improving economic returns from Nebraska sandhills cow/calf operationsThree winter treatments were cross classified with 2 spring treatments to create 6 feeding and grazing systems utilizing Nebraska sandhills range and subirrigated meadow forage. Systems were evaluated with multiparous crossbred beef cows over 4 years (240 head beginning year 1). Systems were: 1) owing range during winter; 2) grazing subirrigated meadow during winter; and 3) fur feed of meadow bay during winter; in combination with either: a) full feed of subirrigated meadow hay during May, or b) grazing subirrigated meadow during May. From June through November all cows grazed range. The feeding and grazing systems were compared with selected linear contrasts and evaluated with respect to variable input prices. Some differences in cow body weight and body condition occurred but differences were considered small. Throughout the study, cows on all systems generally maintained a body condition score of about 5 (1 to 9 scale) year long. Inputs of hay were reduced by grazing range or subirrigated meadow during winter and during May without affecting pregnancy rate. Weaning weight of calves was increased 5.0 kg by grazing meadow during May compared to feeding hay during May. When opportunity costs were included in the analysis, the most profitable system involved grazing subirrigated meadow during winter and during May. Grazing subirrigated meadow during May enhanced the profitability of all wintering systems.
Protein supplementation of stocker cattle in the Northern Great PlainsA comparison of the response of varying classes of growing beef cattle to protein supplementation was conducted on Northern Great Plains rangeland during the summer and early fall. Response was evaluated in 2 experiments, conducted in 1988 and 1989, by measuring organic matter intake and body weight gain in 13-month-old (spring-born steers) and 7-month-old steers (fall-born steers), which received either a 26% crude protein supplement or no supplement. Weight gain was also monitored in 7-month old heifers (fall-born heifers). In experiment 1, spring-born steers were fed 1.28 kg and fall-born steers and heifers 1.64 kg of protein supplement every other day. During experiment 2, spring-born steers were fed supplement at a rate of 1 kg and fall-born steers and heifers at 1.8 kg every other day. Intake of forage organic matter for steers was not affected (P > 0.10) by supplementation in either experiment. In experiment 1, total organic matter intake tended to be increased by protein supplementation in June but not in August (date X supplementation level interaction, P = 0.08). Forage organic matter digestibility was greater (P < 0.01) in June than in August during experiment 1 and in August than September in experiment 2. In experiment 1, this difference was greater for fall-born steers than spring-born steers. In experiment 1, supplementation increased (P < 0.01 average daily gain of cattle from 0.63 to 0.78 kg/day. In experiment 2, daily pin of cattle was increased (P < 0.01) from 0.62 0.82 kg/day with protein supplementation. Also, in experiment 2, cattle receiving supplement were 18 kg heavier (P < 0.05) at the end of the grazing season than unsupplemented controls. Protein supplementation increased weight pins of growing cattle in the late summer in the Northern Great Plains. The advantage was most consistent for fall-born steers with higher relative protein requirements.