Winter-annual grasses as a supplement for beef cows. Grazing cornstalks. Prolonged drought last summer upset haymaking plans. Recent analyses show that hay costs between $0.02 and $0.07 per pound of dry matter; usually more than double the cost for the same amount of nutrients from pasture. If plenty of grass is available, hay may not be needed. To determine stocking rates, Shike recommends factoring in stage of production and cow size to determine the cows' requirements. ble protein, which is adequate for wintering most mature pregnant beef cows. “In a pasture system, it’s more difficult to handle them, they’re scattered and don’t know to come to you for feed.”. "But there are several things to consider when contemplating this decision.". You can easily double your hay usage, if your method of feeding is to place bales out in the pasture or lot without any type of feeder. If I push my place and run at max stocking rate(20 acres per cow) that adds up to $259.80 per cow for land. “Find the cheapest source of calories, and feed those sources of feed,” Loerch said. Not only will hay be in high demand in the Midwest and Illinois, but extreme drought in the Southwest will also increase the national demand for hay.". There are two potential problems with this scenario. The calves’ weight at birth and during the summer, as well as conception rates, were also very similar.”. Feeding $3.00 per bushel corn to the dry spring-calving cow is not a good investment. The 'waste' will grow more than 2-3 times the amount of grass for the following years to come, the extra water holding capacity from the mulch or litter is carbon and food for the soil biology. But, if snow covers the grass deeply or weather gets quite cold, they may need hay. It is usually necessary to feed grain and a protein supplement with grass hay. Wintering Livestock Using Alternate Day Feeding. Auburn University research indicates at least a $28-per-cow savings in wintering cost from stockpiling and grazing fescue. 2002, 80: 1157-1165. According to Loerch, it costs about 43 cents per day to maintain a cow on pasture. Fall and spring in the northern Plains can be challenging seasons for weaning and calving. But there are drawbacks to winter pasture feeding. Cornstalk residue and co-products can also meet the needs of lactating cows, Shike said. forage. Alternative feeding methods can reduce cost without affecting productivity, and August is … Feed cost is the highest variable cost on most cow/calf operations. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. Growing Hay for the Cattle - America's Heartland - Duration: ... How We Feed Cattle In Winter Putting Out Hay with A Tractor East Texas - Duration: 5:21. bwcpublishing 22,804 views. KIRKSVILLE, Mo. J Anim Sci. Beef nutritionist Eric Bailey, University of Missouri Extension, answered farmers’ questions Dec. 2 at the Missouri Livestock Symposium in Kirksville. CAS PubMed Google Scholar 6. (You can contact Andrea Myers at 1-800-837-3419, ext. J Anim Sci. Using native grass (NG) as a stockpiled, standing hay crop is one of the most cost-effective methods of overwintering the cow herd. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. Prolonged drought last summer upset haymaking plans. In northern Kansas, for the last two years, a neighbor has been able to feed his herd of 40-50 head of cattle until March or April without using hay. Feed differently. “It takes four or five days for the animals to get used to the new diet and to not having food available all through the day. Meat and poultry workers high priority for COVID vaccine, Weekly Grain Movement – Soybeans outpace trade estimates, How USDA’s January reports could impact your marketing decisions. These results indicate that the method in which round bales are fed could reduce the amount feed required to winter cows thereby reducing wintering costs. If the hay is alfalfa that is average quality or better, it would also be a good protein source. That 35 acre figure adds up to … Depending on the quality, it could also be a good protein source, but in most situations hay would be fed to meet the energy needs of the beef cow. For next year. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. — Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers. What will the farm of the future require? "Unfortunately, cows aren't very good at eating only what they need," he said. Forage was depleted by mid-February, after which the cows were put on the corn-based diet. The system is designed to elevate hay and feed and keep cattle from using the hay … "With hay in short supply and feed costs at record highs, producers need to have a plan in place," he said. How much hay or supplement a cow needs depends on weather conditions, cow age and body condition, available pasture or crop residue, and reproductive stage of the cow. The second concept to keep in mind is organization. The quality of the hay you feed will also depend on whether you are feeding mature beef cattle, young calves or dairy cows. – Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers. Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox! Limit feeding a corn-based diet can be a cost-effective option for meeting the nutrient requirements of cows. "With more acres going toward corn and soybean production, acres in hay production are lower than normal," said Dan Shike, University of Illinois beef cattle nutritionist and professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. This is before they go onto fescue. The University of Nebraska has conducted several studies to evaluate limit feeding cows. By Christoph Wand - Beef Cattle, Sheep and Goat Nutritionist/OMAFRA. 2002; 80:1157–1165. As winter approaches, the tame pasture should be used first, native range Cold weather and lactation rations always require additional grain or pellets. A good kill in early winter – before lice affect cattle performance – will generally keep cattle free of these parasites until spring. During the cold winter months when pastures contain scant forage, hay is the typical diet for cattle, horses, sheep and goats. The ration can be cheapened by balancing it out with about 15 pounds of lower quality roughage such as non-legume hay, grass straw, or cereal straw. Eff ects of wintering cow- calf pairs on cornstalks or in a drylot on cow- calf per-formance and reproduction in a summer- calving intensively managed cowherd were evaluated at two locations. The exact amount depends on cow size, milk production levels and the analysis of the cornstalks (or soybean stubble, wheat straw, poor quality hay). "Cows will select the residue in the order of corn grain, husks, leaves, and finally, stalks," Shike said. Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers with the prolonged drought last summer upsetting haymaking plans. Next to pasture, good quality hay is the ideal feed. Various forages are used as the primary feed source for wintering cows. The exact amount depends on cow size, milk production levels and the analysis of the cornstalks (or soybean stubble, wheat straw, poor quality hay). In some years, we were able to push through without feeding hay on some replications. However, Shike said it is still likely that with one cow per acre, a field could be grazed for 45 to 60 days. As the cows advance in gestation, their requirements go up. Witnessing the cows employ techniques once used by wild ruminants such as bison, elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep on the Great Plains and in the Rocky Mountain West, Bishopp realized his hypothesis was correct: he could indeed feed cattle for part of the winter without using hay. They feed a lot of cover crops that are put up as hay. If it is dry while you are grazing, the cows' harvesting efficiency is higher than during wet years when more residue will be trampled into the ground.". Processing hay for range cows with a bale processor increased the cost of feeding without enhancing animal performance. The pastures were fertilized with ammonium nitrate Aug. 1 and set aside until the trial began in late October. Previous Ohio State research shows that whole corn works better when the daily intake of hay per cow is limited to five pounds or less. However, lactating cows may need as much as 12 to 15 pounds of co-product. Effect of Hay Feeding Methods on Cow Performance, Hay Waste, and Wintering Cost D.G. "The wet spring, followed by an extremely hot and dry summer, reduced hay production even further. Beef nutritionist Eric Bailey, University of Missouri Extension, answered farmers’ questions at the Missouri Livestock Symposium in Kirksville. Average or better quality hay will meet the nutritional needs of most mature lactating cows, as will the 50:50 blend of hay and litter which contains surplus protein. A case often seen is a producer who has a good haylage as well as a mature hay source. Continuous grazing allows cows access to the entire corn field. Registered in England and Wales. The BP system utilized a Highline 6800 bale processor to feed 1 hay and straw bale every 3 days, with feeding areas rotated throughout the paddock over the course of the trial. Several studies have shown that dependent on market prices, using corn grain, corn gluten feed or distillers’ grains, the cost of a pregnant cow’s wintering ration can be reduced when displacing hay. In addition, producers must consider fencing options. Shockey JD, Gunter SA: Cool-season annual pasture with legumes to supplement for wintering beef cows fed warm-season grass hay. "If you offer a high-quality hay, they will actually eat more than if they are fed a lower-quality hay or a crop residue such as cornstalks, soybean stubble or wheat straw.". However, the rise in forage prices during 2007 has contributed to a dramatic increase in winter cow feeding costs. Straw does not contain sufficient levels of these nutrients and the use of grain, protein supplements and mineral/vitamin premixes is needed make straw-based wintering diets work well. wintering beef cows, and detailed descriptions of each point follow. However, there are other options of maintaining a cow through the winter that are more cost-effective. “Think outside the box. For spring … That would be approximately 25 pounds per day for 120 days or about 3,000 pounds of hay per cow. J Anim Sci. Straw can be used extensively as winter feed if energy, protein, mineral and vitamin requirements are met. Winter Cow Feeding Strategies Travis Meteer ... • Ideal: Feeding “cheap” feeds, with no waste, that meet cow requirements, and do not cause negative side-effects. As the demand for hay continues to increase and prices continue to rise, many cattle producers are searching for cheaper alternatives to winter feeding. Trials used round-baled grass hay, whole corn and stockpiled pasture, Loerch said. Gibson still buys and keeps a little hay for his cows, but most winters he feeds none. Finding hay at that price is rare in Ohio, according to Loerch, who also noted that most farmers can’t even produce hay that inexpensively. “Because hay only has about half the energy value as corn grain, the break-even price for hay on an energy basis would be approximately $40 a ton. It’s still one of the best ways to reduce winter feed costs. In his research, Loerch used limited hand feeding of corn along fence rows at the rate of 10-12 pounds per head per day, he said. "With hay in short supply and feed costs at record highs, producers need to have a plan in place," he said. 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