• Effect of Range Condition on the Diet and Performance of Steers Grazing Native Sandhills Range in Nebraska

      Powell, D. J.; Clanton, D. C.; Nichols, J. T. (Society for Range Management, 1982-01-01)
      Two areas of native Sandhills range were used to determine the effect of range condition on the quality of diet and performance of grazing steers. Pasture 1 was in high good-excellent condition (75%), pasture 2 was in low good condition (58%). Pastures were stocked according to recommended rates. At the end of the grazing trial, utilization was full (54%) for both pastures. The grazing trial was continuous from June 1 to September 22, 1978. Three 2-year-old esophageal fistulated and 3 intact yearling steers were used in each pasture for diet and fecal collections during a 5-day-period once each month. Ten Hereford yearling steers were used to measure weight gains in each pasture. Diet samples were analyzed for in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) and crude protein (CP). Fecal production divided by indigestibility was used to predict intake. IVOMD was 58.6 and 63.4% and CP was 10.2 and 9.4% for pasture 1 and 2, respectively. Differences were not significant (P<.05). IVOMD and CP declined (P<.01) from period 1 through period 4 in both pastures. IVOMD decreased (P<.05) more during the grazing trial in pasture 1 (high good-excellent condition) than pasture 2 (low good condition). Organic matter intake (OMI) was lower (P<.05) for pasture 1 (74 g/kg W^.75) than for pasture 2 (83 g/kg W^.75). OMI was lower (P<.05) in period 4 than in previous periods. OMI was not different (P>.05) between fistulated and intact steers. Average daily gains (.78 and .72 kg) per day for pastures 1 and 2, respectively were not different (P>.05).