Extension News

Beef Winter Feeding Alternatives to Hay

Iowa Beef Center


AMES, Iowa -- Two winter field days will highlight alternative approaches to the standard of wintering cows on stored feedstuffs. The first field day, Use of Stockpiled Forage in a Cow Wintering Program, will be held on Feb. 23 at the Iowa State University Beef Nutrition farm in northwest Ames.

Winter grazing of bred second calf heifers will be the focus of the program. Additional topics include using cornstalks and distillers solubles for a complete cow diet, do's and dont's of winter stockpiling, and the impact weathering has on forage quality and how that impacts meeting the cow's nutrient requirements.

Program starts at 9:45 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts and ends at noon. The farm is located on North Dakota Avenue, five miles north of Highway 30.

No registration fee or pre-registration is required. For additional information on this meeting contact Dan Morrical or Daryl Strohbehn in the Animal Science Department at Iowa State University (ISU), (515) 294-2353.

The second field day will be held at Fred Abels' farm northwest of Grundy Center on March 2 starting at 1:30 pm. The focus of the field day will be viewing and discussing beef cow grazing on unharvested standing corn.

Approximately 50 fall calving cows have been strip grazing 20 acres of corn since early December. Each day the cows are given access to slightly less than one tenth acre of standing corn by moving an electric fence. Unharvested strips were strategically left in the field so that cows had access to both harvested and unharvested corn on a daily basis. Grazing has provided almost all the feed for these cows so far this winter.

The Abels farm is located at 20902 J Avenue, Holland Ave. The farm is two miles west of Holland Ave on D35 and approximately one-half mile south on J Avenue.

Costs of providing winter feed for beef cows through this alternative system plus other management factors and practical tips to consider will be discussed. Fred has worked with ISU Extension and the Iowa Beef Center to set up and manage the grazing corn project. For additional information contact Russ Euken, ISU Extension livestock specialist, Hancock County Extension Office, (641) 923-2856.

Contacts :

Daniel Morrical, Animal Science, (515) 294-2904, morrical@iastate.edu

Jean McGuire, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-7033, jmcguire@iastate.edu