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MiG Basics: Extending the grazing season Jim Gerrish American GrazingLands Services May, Idaho Harriman TN 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "MiG Basics: Extending the grazing season Jim Gerrish American GrazingLands Services May, Idaho Harriman TN 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 MiG Basics: Extending the grazing season Jim Gerrish American GrazingLands Services May, Idaho Harriman TN 2011

2 Characteristics of Profitable Herds Illinois SPA database, 158 Herds Top 15% Average Bottom 15% Net Profit$21,701 $-4,373 $-34,007 Herd Size % Return on Investment 22.2% 3.7% -16.7% Pounds of Calf sold/cow Feeder Calf Price$ $97.39 $99.69 Source: Dr. Allen Williams, U of IL, Beef Extension Specialist, 2008

3 Characteristics of Profitable Herds Top 15% Average Bottom 15% Net Profit$21,701 $-4,373 $-34,007 Herd Size % Return on Investment 22.2% 3.7% -16.7% Pounds of Calf sold/cow Feeder Calf Price$ $97.39 $99.69 Total Annual Cow Cost$ $ $ Annual Feed Cost$ $ $ Source: Dr. Allen Williams, U of IL, Beef Extension Specialist, 2008

4 Feed Cost Over 57% of variation in profitability amongst producers can be explained by variation in feed cost Why? 63% of Total Annual Cow Cost is Feed Cost Average annual cost $ – Big Ticket Item Std Dev $80.76 – Huge Variation Range from under $100 to over $400

5 Winter feed costs are the single largest cost in most livestock operations Most farmers and ranchers have no idea what it costs to get here !

6 What I find in my consulting business Winter feed Equipment depreciation Fertilizer Irrigation Cow depreciation Labor

7 What does it take to extend the winter grazing season ? Forage in the field

8 What does it take to extend the winter grazing season ? Forage in the field Hay aftermath

9 Hay regrowth may provide cow-days/acre

10 What about quality ? Usually adequate for dry, pregnant cows without supplementation May be adequate for growing stock in early winter

11 … Or dont cut the hay at all and leave 80 – 120 cow-days/acre standing in the field

12 What does it take to extend the winter grazing season ? Forage in the field Hay aftermath Stockpiled perennial pasture

13 Stockpiling is accumulating forage in the growing season for use in the dormant season

14 Any kind of pasture can be stockpiled ….. Some species are better than others

15 Key components of stockpiling Select the right pasture

16 Value of other common grasses for stockpiling Tall fescue Meadow bromegrass Quackgrass / western wheatgrass Orchardgrass (in mixture) Timothy Smooth bromegrass Reed canarygrass

17 Key components of stockpiling Select the right pasture Tall fescue base is the best

18 Stockpiled tall fescue may yield from 2000 – 8000 lb/acre Protein content 16-18% at beginning of winter Usually stays above 10% for duration of winter

19 Key components of stockpiling Select the right pasture Proper length of rest period

20 Key components of stockpiling Proper length of rest period

21 Key components of stockpiling Proper length of rest period About days rest will give maximum yield

22 Key components of stockpiling Proper length of rest period About days rest will give maximum yield Less rest will give higher quality stockpile

23 Key components of stockpiling Select the right pasture Proper length of rest period Sward condition

24 Key components of stockpiling Sward condition Grazed or clipped to about 3 inches

25 Key components of stockpiling Sward condition Grazed or clipped to about 3 inches Starting from short stubble gives higher quality stockpile

26 Key components of stockpiling Select the right pasture Proper length of rest period Sward condition Irrigation management

27 Late season water is essential Water needs to be available August - September

28 Irrigation management Late season water is essential Water needs to be available August - September Each inch of applied water can increase yield about 300 to 400 lb/acre

29 Key components of stockpiling Select the right pasture Proper length of rest period Sward condition Irrigation management Nitrogen availability

30 Key components of stockpiling Nitrogen availability Legumes Manures Commercial N fertilizer

31 Tall fescue with legumes can also work

32 Grass-Legume mixtures for stockpiling: If 30-50% of annual production is from legume, N fertilization doesnt pay

33 Value of legumes in stockpile : Alsike clover Birdsfoot trefoil Red clover White clover Sainfoin Alfalfa

34 Missouri study on N efficiency (2001-3) N response was near linear up to 100 lb/acre Conversion efficiency was about 20 lb forage/ lb N

35 Value of N on tall fescue without legume N fertilizer cost / lb N cost per added lb of forage N cost per added ton 25¢1.25¢$25 30¢1.50¢$30 35¢1.75¢$35 45¢2.25¢$45 55¢2.75¢$55 65¢3.25¢$65 75¢3.75¢$75

36 What does it take to extend the winter grazing season ? Forage in the field Hay aftermath Perennial pasture Annual pasture

37 Winter annual pastures planted in summer can supply 200+ cow-days / acre…..

38 ….. that can be carried forward into winter

39 … Sept thru Dec 2004, this field produced ¢ per day

40 The same ranch had a hay feeding cost on other cows of $1.33 per day In winter our hay feeding cost was $2.10/cow/day

41 Annual grasses Annual ryegrass Rye Oats Wheat Triticale Barley

42 Brassicas: Turnips, kale, swedes, tyfon

43 Cereal grains and annual ryegrass as winter forage Fall yield Oats Tritcale Rye Annual ryegrass Wheat Barley Spring yield Rye Annual ryegrass Tritcale Wheat Oats Barley

44 Forage quality Annual ryegrass Oats Barley Wheat Triticale Rye Cereal grains and annual ryegrass as winter forage

45 Ease of establishment Annual ryegrass Wheat = Rye = Oats=Triticale Barley Cereal grains and annual ryegrass as winter forage

46 Winter annual pasture tips: Dont seed too early Up seeding rates by 50% Provide adequate fertility Swath at desired quality stage

47 What does it take to extend the winter grazing season ? Forage in the field Controlled grazing

48 Strip grazing increases utilization efficiency

49 3-day strip graze provided 40% more grazing days per acre than 14-day strip graze

50 Management needed to achieve target utilization rate Utilization rate Stockpiled pasture Winter annual Hay feeding 80 %1-day strip graze Ring feed 2-day 70 %3-day strip graze Ring feed 3-day Unroll daily 60 %7-day strip graze Ring feed 5-day 50 %14-day strip graze Unroll 2-day 40 %Set stock Cows are in the hay yard!

51 An example of controlled grazing on winter range in western Montana Annual precipitation 8-10 in. Elevation 5500 – 6500 ft Growing season days

52 2500 acre range unit with single water source and no subdivision fence: 450 cows for 40 days with stock water development but no subdivision: 800 cows for 45 days with subdivision 900 cows 80 days with stock water, subdivision, & experience: 1200 cows for 100 days.

53 Simple graziers math 900 cows Add 40 more days of grazing Grazing saves $1/day Annual saving is $36,000 What did the fence cost ? $33,046.81

54 Example from our old north Missouri farm 260 acre grass farm We needed about 1/3 rd of farm stockpiled each year Alternated which 1/3 rd each year

55 Basic layout of an 80-acre unit Buried pipeline w/ water to every paddock Three permanent tanks All other water was movable tank at Quick Coupler valve 23 permanent paddocks

56 Then we strip grazed each paddock in several sections We eliminated ALL making and feeding of hay !

57 The power of strip grazing Preserve winter feed supply deeper into winter Preserve forage quality deeper into winter Improve animal body condition deeper into winter Raise overall performance level of livestock

58 What does it take to extend the winter grazing season ? Forage in the field Controlled grazing Cows who know how to work for their living

59 Do you work for the cows, or do the cows work for you ?

60 What does it take to extend the winter grazing season ? Forage in the field Controlled grazing Cows who know how to work for their living A positive attitude


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