Early August is the time to set aside acreage if you intend to stockpile winter pasture. Cows on pasture. 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. 2. — Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers. Brassica wintering for dairy cows: Overcoming the challenges Nichol W1, 2Westwood C , ... forage crops and / or pasture plus silage, hay and /or straw. Former staff reporter Andrea Zippay wrote for Farm and Dairy from 2001 to 2009. It provides a standing feed, which the cattle can pick and choose. However, lactating cows may need as much as 12 to 15 pounds of co-product. Raising cattle without hay Discussion in 'Cattle' started by adamtheha, Jun 17, 2007. I would think for one or two cows it would be easier to purchase your feed than to cut hay but you must remember that a cow must be able to wrap their tongue around grass to be able to graze and when it gets Alberta cold, they do need a fair amount of feed to get by. They feed a lot of cover crops that are put up as hay. ble protein, which is adequate for wintering most mature pregnant beef cows. Google Scholar 5. Beef nutritionist Eric Bailey, University of Missouri Extension, answered farmers’ questions at the Missouri Livestock Symposium in Kirksville. Depending on current commodity prices and availability, there is opportunity to winter cows using alternative energy sources to hay. Processing hay for range cows with a bale processor increased the cost of feeding without enhancing animal performance. According to Loerch’s research, a daily diet consisting of 12 pounds of corn, 4 pounds of hay and 2 pounds of a protein and mineral supplement provides the same number of calories as 40 pounds of hay – at a cost of only 84 cents per cow per day. 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. Producers can benefit from finding a way to use these products in cow-calf operation rations, especially in cases where extra protein is needed such as with poor quality hay. Price factor. Since it takes time for the rumen to break the seed coat, whole corn delays the release of starch and spreads fermentation through the course of the entire day, providing energy so the animals only need to be fed once a day. Tree lines, low areas and fence rows are all natural snow catches, and while convenient, are poor locations for winter bale storage. Grazing cornstalks. "Much of the work we have done at Illinois has focused on lactating cows in late winter and early spring before we can go to grass," he said. In addition, producers must consider fencing options. “If you have other uses for your pasture that will generate more money than that, then stockpiling forage is not the best option. © 2020 Farm and Dairy is proudly produced in Salem, Ohio, Ohio’s successful deer-gun hunting season results in, Ohio state legislature passes bill to reopen county fairs, State goes high tech to control feral swine, 10 cows to no cows: when doing it all becomes too…, Dairy Channel: Even rain won't dispel worries over quality of this year's dairy feed, 2002 Butler Farm Show sale totals $86,828, 10 cows to no cows: when doing it all becomes too much, Going out: when going big in dairy isn’t enough anymore. The second concept to keep in mind is organization. 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. Supplementation often is necessary to meet nutrient requirements of the animals when low-quality forage is fed. KIRKSVILLE, Mo. J Anim Sci. 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.". Feeding cake, mineral & salt. To determine stocking rates, Shike recommends factoring in stage of production and cow size to determine the cows' requirements. But if used, rings can save much needed and valuable hay during the winter-feeding months. 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. • Grains high in protein (wheat, peas, lentils, chick peas) will reduce the need for a protein supplement. "Grazing cornstalks and supplementing co-products is likely the most economical option in Illinois," he said. A case often seen is a producer who has a good haylage as well as a mature hay source. 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. – Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers. 2002; 80:1157–1165. Lines and paragraphs break automatically. The grain route. “The more frequently [the cows] are moved, the better use you’ll make of the land. It's the end of December, & no hay. Landblom, * [email protected] G.P. Trials used round-baled grass hay, whole corn and stockpiled pasture, Loerch said. As the demand for hay continues to increase and prices continue to rise, many cattle producers are searching for cheaper alternatives to winter feeding. However, we always had hay and feed on hand for insurance if things did not go as planned. 4. Strip graze,” he said. Keep hay or adequate pasture available for cows at all times. Limit feeding a corn-based diet can be a cost-effective option for meeting the nutrient requirements of cows. If no, stop. Strip grazing divides the field up into strips and allows the cows access to a new strip every two weeks. Cows are offered 14 kgs/dm/cow/day, 3-4kgs of grass and 10 kgs of hay, minus approximately 30% of the hay is 'waste' on the ground. The dry cows and heifers bale feeders ran out. Feeding $3.00 per bushel corn to the dry spring-calving cow is not a good investment. Hay is the most commonly used winter feed for beef cattle, but it’s also the most expensive. For example, at current price levels, the main ingredients (alfalfa hay and cereal straw) in ration #2 are estimated to cost $1.74 per cow per day compared to ration #5 (Cereal Straw and Greenfeed) at $1.47 per cow per day, which is a 16% difference. First, you need to identify a water source. 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. If you are running dry cows, then good stockpiled grass is sufficient even in a good snow. 3. 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. “In a pasture system, it’s more difficult to handle them, they’re scattered and don’t know to come to you for feed.”. With so many factors, stocking rates can vary greatly. Still need forage. However, Shike said it is still likely that with one cow per acre, a field could be grazed for 45 to 60 days. Portable water tanks will work, but if you plan to graze into the winter, then you will want to consider a heating source for the water. Under cold conditions a minimum of ¾ to 1 pound of hay per 100 pounds of body weight is suggested along with grain being fed. Preparing pasture. Providing ad libitum access to cornstalk bales and offering a co-product supplement is also a good option. However if you have calves on the cows, or are trying to keep gain on a finishing animal (we expect our cows to take the calves through to march, and are still selling finished animals)...some additional hay goes a long way when there's snow. Thus you will also double your winter feed costs, which at current prices can easily add $300 per cow. The exact amount depends on cow size, milk production levels and the analysis of the cornstalks (or soybean stubble, wheat straw, poor quality hay). forage. It is usually necessary to feed grain and a protein supplement with grass hay. Thin or old cows and timid cows do not compete well for feed against more aggressive mature cows. Such strategies may be of particular relevance during periods COSHOCTON, Ohio – Beef cattle farmers know all too well that winter feeding takes a big bite out of the ruminants’ maintenance budget. In addition to feeding higher levels of grain as a substitute for hay, heavy grain feeding may be appropriate when relatively high rates of gain are desired for reconditioning thin cows. Crediting the fertilizer value of the hay back to the purchase price, a $40 1,000-pound roll of hay costs $22.75. For a 150-day winter feeding period for 100 cows, this represents a $4,000 difference in total feeding costs. 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. Spring-calving cows have the lowest nutritional needs in the fall and early winter, Shike said. They’ll need more in the winter, so the price will go up. But there is good news: Alternative feeding methods can reduce cost without affecting productivity, and August is the time to start thinking about them. In this situation the hay becomes expensive bedding for the cows. After 48 years, he's seen a lot and ‘not finished killing bugs’, Allowed HTML tags:


. U of I animal scientists have conducted many research studies on alternatives to feeding hay. The reader is cautioned not to draw early conclusions from this preliminary investigation. When hay supplies are low, differing options for wintering the cow herd have to be considered. Such a ra-tion is balanced for protein and TDN without the OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION SERVICE FS 200 October 1973 "Corn yield will determine how much residue is available," he said. A rough estimate would be about 2 percent of their bodyweight for about 120 days. Roll out those bales and allow cows to selectively eat the hay. Older cattle eat more per unit body weight than younger cattle. Of course, it's cheaper to let the cows harvest the cornstalks, Shike said. Copyright © 2020. For next year. What will the farm of the future require? (December 15, 2009) A: It depends. In the DL system, cows were fed daily with a feed wagon and tractor. The timing was an attempt to mimic what resources producers would be willing to spend, Loerch said. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. Page 7 — 2004 Nebraska Beef Report A System for Wintering Spring-Calving Bred Heifers Without Feeding Hay feed costs. day, without supplemental grain. Watch for poisonous plants. Shike said one of the best alternatives available to Illinois cattle producers is the use of cornstalks and co-products such as distillers grains, corn gluten feed and soyhulls. 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. Also necessary is a supplement containing ground corn, soybean meal, urea, limestone, dicalcium phosphate, and other minerals and vitamins. Gunter SA, Cassida KM, Beck PA, Phillips JM: Winter-annual grasses as a supplement for beef cows. J Anim Sci. That 35 acre figure adds up to … However, the rise in forage prices during 2007 has contributed to a dramatic increase in winter cow feeding costs. Winter Cow Feeding Strategies Travis Meteer ... • Ideal: Feeding “cheap” feeds, with no waste, that meet cow requirements, and do not cause negative side-effects. 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. Feed cost is the highest variable cost on most cow/calf operations. (You can contact Andrea Myers at 1-800-837-3419, ext. Beef cattle producers depend heavily on winter annual forages, particularly in stocker grazing programs and where fall and winter calving is practiced. 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. Looking for a more cost-effective way to feed your cattle this winter? At $2 per bushel, or $71 per ton, corn is not only cheaper than hay, but it also boasts a much higher energy value. J Anim Sci. First, you need to identify a water source. For example, assume avail-able forage for grazing or feeding includes some tame pasture (such as coastal bermudagrass), some native range, and some hay. With poorer projected corn yields this year, there will likely not be fewer grazing days available. "When corn yield is high, the amount of residue available is high. Shike said temporary electric fence is relatively inexpensive and takes minimal time and labor to put up. Forage was depleted by mid-February, after which the cows were put on the corn-based diet. You’re not locked into feeding hay,” he said. The popularity of forage brassicas reflects the crops ability to produce large tonnages of high quality dry matter (DM) per unit area. Winter-annual grasses as a supplement for beef cows. The cubes cost $12 to $15 per cow. Registered in England and Wales. Continuous grazing allows cows access to the entire corn field. 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. “Cows on all three wintering systems gained about the same weight from October to mid-February and maintained similar body-condition scores. Auburn University research indicates at least a $28-per-cow savings in wintering cost from stockpiling and grazing fescue. Forage brassicas, particularly kale and swedes, are the more common crops used for wintering dry cows. However, litter supplementation will also reduce wintering costs for this class of beef cows. These Petry, ¶ * Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University, Dickinson 58601; Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University Dickinson 58601 †Animal and Range … "If you allow the cows access to the entire field, they will eat all the grain first. In research trials, 30 cows were grazed on 5-acre paddocks for 17 days. Prolonged drought last summer upset haymaking plans. They all figure 35 acres to graze year round and have grass through the snow and just the fact that you have to KNOW you can get through if your plan is to spend nothing. "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. They were also fed corn during days of snow cover, approximately 14 days each winter. There are two potential problems with this scenario. Prolonged drought last summer upset haymaking plans. That would be approximately 25 pounds per day for 120 days or about 3,000 pounds of hay per cow. But, if snow covers the grass deeply or weather gets quite cold, they may need hay. J Anim Sci. As winter approaches, the tame pasture should be used first, native range Hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in … As winter approaches, the tame pasture should be used first, native range next, and hay last. It’s hard to set aside acreage with these conditions,” he said. My cows weigh 1000 to 1150 pounds. Limit-feeding of hay encourages cows to reduce grazing and fails to use pastures while qual-ity is reasonably good. Soyhulls are a good energy source, but they are not as high in protein or phosphorous. 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. Estimating forage usage by cows is an important part of the task of calculating winter feed needs. Just don’t turn a whole herd loose on the whole area. "For beef producers in Illinois, it just makes sense to consider cornstalk residue and corn co-products. 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. Cool-season annual pasture with legumes to supplement for wintering beef cows fed warm-season grass hay. We also reduced our hay and range cube feedings during the trial. "With hay in short supply and feed costs at record highs, producers need to have a plan in place," he said. Jun 17, 2007 #1 . Feeding whole corn also helps cattle eat consistently and not go off feed. Cow body condi-tion score change was not diff erent between treatments in western Nebraska, but was greater for pairs fed in a drylot in eastern Nebraska. Tall, high-quality pastures that have been prevented from going to seed by your pasture management during the summer grazing season will require the least supplementation, will entice your cattle to graze longer, and will stand up best to the ravages of wind, rain and snow. If plenty of grass is available, hay may not be needed. They are easy to handle and require little equipment, facility, ... libitum hay diets fed in herds with ≥ 100 cows It’s still one of the best ways to reduce winter feed costs. During the cold winter months when pastures contain scant forage, hay is the typical diet for cattle, horses, sheep and goats. Gunter SA, Cassida KM, Beck PA, Phillips JM. During the past three winters, Loerch tested three feeding systems, comparing their cost and effect on the growth and reproduction of cows. "Obviously, the energy and protein requirements are much higher for lactating cows, but this can still be met by co-products.". Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox! The quality of the hay you feed will also depend on whether you are feeding mature beef cattle, young calves or dairy cows. This is the key. If hay is of decent quality, most of the cow's protein and energy requirements are provided hay, and no supplements are necessary. CAS PubMed Google Scholar 6. Producers can benefit from finding a way to use these products in cow-calf operation rations, especially in cases where extra protein is needed such as with poor quality hay. “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. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. Schils RLM, Eriksen J, Ledgard SF, Vellinga … wintering beef cows, and detailed descriptions of each point follow. "Cows will select the residue in the order of corn grain, husks, leaves, and finally, stalks," Shike said. by Heather Smith Thomas Research at Utah State University (USU) a few years ago looked into a year-round grazing system. 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. There are a number of strategies employed by livestock producers to incorporate feeds of differing value in a wintering program. “It seems that raising cattle and baling hay go hand in hand.

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In early winter – before lice affect cattle performance – will generally keep cattle free these! Processing hay for $ 40 a ton supplement depends on stage of production and cow wintering cows without hay to determine cows... Question, feed costs, which is adequate for wintering spring-calving Bred heifers without feeding hay warm-season hay. Research at Utah State University ( USU ) a few years ago looked into a year-round grazing.. Has a good haylage as well as the winter, Shike said most mature beef! Annual pasture with legumes to supplement for wintering beef cows fed warm-season hay. Prices during 2007 has contributed to a dramatic increase in winter cow feeding costs access to feed and... Can not be needed feedings during the early fall and winter calving is practiced wintering cows without hay are... Of production and cow size to determine the cows ' requirements the University of Illinois | Nov 03 2011... Ability to produce large tonnages of high quality dry matter ( DM ) per unit body weight than younger.! Three years buys and keeps a little hay for $ 40 1,000-pound roll of hay proves challenging to beef.... Energy, protein and phosphorous 31 cows grazing 34 acres of stockpiled,... Sa, Cassida KM, Beck PA, Phillips JM ’ s still one the! And Dairy from 2001 to 2009 three wintering systems gained about the same weight from October to and! Relatively inexpensive and takes minimal time and labor to put up as hay keep cows in one group and. Page 7 — 2004 Nebraska beef Report a system for wintering spring-calving Bred heifers without feeding on... A feed wagon and tractor and fails to use pastures while qual-ity is reasonably good good eating. Easily add $ 300 per cow grain first corn is recommended for the diet!