Extension News

Stockpile Grazing Reduces Need for Stored Feed

5/1/2005

AMES, Iowa - In the fall of 2003, 24 Angus-Simmental two-year-olds and eight similar second-calf heifers were studied to determine the effects of stocking rate and supplementation level on bred second-calf heifers. Allowing cattle to harvest their own feed reduces feed costs by decreasing the amount of harvested feed required.

Twenty-four heifers were allotted to strip-graze for 147 days at 0.48 or 0.34 cow/acre and eight heifers were allotted to two drylots and fed tall fescue-red clover hay.

The results of the study showed that stockpiled grazing reduced the amounts of stored feed fed compared to heifers in the drylot. Winter grazing stockpiled forage decreased the cost of stored feeds, even when feeding corn gluten feed was required because weather prevented grazing.

“Even under bitter conditions, like snow and cold stress, cattle will graze aggressively when there is quality forage,” states Dan Morrical, professor of Animal Science at Iowa State University. “Quality is the key, which is why we recommend waiting to stockpile forages until after Aug.1.”

For more information or to read the full report, visit the Iowa Beef Center’s website at www.iowabeefcenter.org and click on the 2005 Beef Research Report link under Activities and Research or call (515) 294-BEEF.

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Contacts :

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

Rachel E. Martin, Iowa Beef Center, (515)294-9124, remartin@iastate.edu
Suzanne Schuknecht, Iowa Beef Center, (515)294-6780, suzannes@iastate.edu