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Dr. Mary Drewnoski.  US agriculture production oriented  More is better! Right?  Focus on making profitable decisions  Increasing profit ◦ Increase.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Mary Drewnoski.  US agriculture production oriented  More is better! Right?  Focus on making profitable decisions  Increasing profit ◦ Increase."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Mary Drewnoski

2  US agriculture production oriented  More is better! Right?  Focus on making profitable decisions  Increasing profit ◦ Increase the price we get for product ◦ Increase amount of product produced ◦ Decrease production costs

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4 In cow/calf and stocker programs we typically strive to utilize forages as the major source of nutrients  Have to manage the plant and the animal  Use supplements to ◦ Correct nutritional deficiencies ◦ Conserve forage/increase stocking rate ◦ Increase overall plane of nutrition

5  The green leaf It is also the primary source of feed!!

6 TNC in tap root Top growth High Low Cut, then cycle starts over again

7  Both the plant and animal need to be considered  Think lbs per acre not per animal ◦ Timing of grazing  Need to allow the plant to restore its energy reserves ◦ Intensity of grazing  How much of the leaf is removed/left  Take half leave half

8  The ultimate measure of forage quality is animal performance  Animal performance is determined by ◦ feed availability ◦ feed nutrient content ◦ Intake ◦ extent of digestion ◦ metabolism of the feed digested   Availability and intake most often determine animal performance ◦ A cow never produced milk or a steer never grew on feed that it didn’t eat!

9 500 lbs/acre 12 acres = 6000 lbs allowance for the herd 1500 lbs/acre 4 acres = 6000 lbs allowance for the herd 2500 lbs/acre 2.4 acres = 6000 lbs allowance for the herd Forage height Does it matter?

10 Grazing Time = 8 to 10 hrs. per day two periods before dusk and after dawn Rumination Time = 6 to 8 hrs. per day regurgites forage, chews it, mixes with saliva and swallows it Bites per Day = 40,000

11 Pasture Allowance (lbs DM/ewe/day) Gain (lbs/ewe/day) 6-10”-2500 lbs/A 4-6”-1500 lbs/A 1-2”-500 lbs/A

12 Bite number/minute Bite size, g Intake, g/min

13  Animal performance depends on intake of the forage.  Overgrazed pastures/range are generally the result of over stocking, which, in turn, diminishes the ability of the animal to select plant species or plant parts of higher nutritive value.  Consequently in overgrazed pastures/range, forage intake declines.

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15 Selectivity  Animals will select the best forage first  They prefer young, green forage  They will avoid areas that have been walked on, urinated on and areas around dung  Intake increases if new grass is given daily  forage availability (allowance)  gain per animal & per acre

16 Daily Milk/cow, lbs Milk per cow fluctuates with rotational grazing Available pasture grazed from 10” to 3” over 8-9 days. Pad 1 8 days Pad 2 8 days Pad 3 9 days Pad 4 9 days

17 To “talk” about Forage Quality we need to understand Fiber 1. Fiber is the “cell wall” portion of the plant cell that holds the plant up 2. Fiber is food for the rumen microbes and helps the cow maintain rumen health (cud chewing; saliva, higher rumen pH) 3. As plants mature, the ratio of cell wall to cell content goes up and the cell wall becomes less digestible 4. There is only so much fiber the cow can consume (only so much space in the rumen)

18  The more mature and fibrous (lower in quality) a forage, the longer it takes to be digested and the less an animal will consume  Stage of growth at harvest or grazing has more to do with nutritive value than most anything else.

19 Digestibility and yield are dependent on stage of growth As plant matures digestibility decreases and yield increases (to a point)

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21 Animal class%TDN%CP Growing steer 450 lb (1.5 lbs/day) Growing steer 650 lb (gaining 1.7 lbs/day) Lactating beef cow Dry beef cow507-8 Animal Requirements Grazing animals will usually eat between 2-3% of body wt

22  Balancing dietary protein and energy in supplements is important to ensure successful response to supplementation  The nutrient that is most limiting or deficient should be supplied first  Key to have an idea of the quality of the forage that is being grazed/fed and adjust the supplement accordingly

23  Positive associative effects ◦ Increase ruminal N (when N is limiting digestion)  Negative associative effects ◦ Decrease ruminal pH ◦ Decrease ruminal available N  The ability to infrequently feed supplements depends on supplement characteristics ◦ Protein and non-structural carbohydrate (starch) content

24  When feeding protein supplement can feed 3 times a week with little effect on performance  When feeding energy the affects are more variable ◦ High NSC feeds may cause digestive upsets ◦ More likely to cause increased substitution than feeding daily ◦ If protein in the forage or supplement is high then can supplement 3X a week with less potential for decreased performance

25  To maximize intake of forage feeding rates should be about 0.2 to 0.5 % body weight  Using energy supplements highly digestible fiber will reduce likelihood of substitution and negative impacts on forage digestibility when fed at high rates

26  If protein is deficient, supplements should be evaluated based on cost per pound of protein.  Forage supply is limited or energy is deficient, supplements should be evaluated based on cost per pound of total digestible nutrients (TDN; energy).  Prices are seasonal and vary year to year so you will need to pencil this out

27 Matching Animal Needs to Pasture Quality Veg.Late Veg.Boot/budE. bloomFull bloomHard seed lb cow* nursing calf or 500 lb steer gaining 2.5 lb/d Cool season grasses Energy Dry, pregnant cows * Superior milking cow Avg. lactating cow

28 Matching Animal Needs to Pasture Quality Veg.Late Veg.Boot/budE. bloomFull bloomHard seed lb cow* nursing calf or 500 lb steer gaining 2.5 lb/d Cool season grasses Crude Protein * Superior milking cow Dry, pregnant cows

29 DM basis FeedDMTDNCPCaP Corn Citrus pulp Wheat middlings Cottonseed, fuzzy Corn gluten feed Distillers grains Cottonseed meal Soybean meal

30  The time of day will effect affect the amount of forage that the cattle will consume  Cattle have intensive grazing peaks at dawn and dusk, with most grazing occurring in daylight hours  Feeding supplements in the middle of the day will be less disruptive on normal grazing activity and will cause cattle to eat more forage than if supplements are fed early in the morning

31  A supplemental feeding program to reduce forage intake but maintain total energy intake may be desirable  Rule of thumb: 1 pound of an energy-dense feed reduces forage intake by 0.5 to 1 pound. ◦ The substitution rate  increases as supplement intake increases  increases as forage quality increases  decreases as the level of protein in the supplement increases  Greater for high starch feeds than highly digestible fiber feeds  1% BW of high energy feed

32  Can be profitable but need to look at the costs  Test your forage!!!!  Corn silage ◦ Typically need protein supplement  Hay ◦ Both energy and often protein ◦ Usually require high supplementation rates

33  Most forages deficient in one or more trace mineral ◦ May need P and Ca  Supplementation of Trace Minerals may or may not increase performance ◦ Cheap insurance

34  Ionophores improve feed efficiency and daily gains in cattle ◦ 5 to 15% improvement in ADG ◦ 6 to 12% improvement in feed efficiency  Can be provided in a free-choice mineral or molasses blocks ◦ Need to monitor intake  Mixing into a supplement can ensure adequate intake ◦ 150 to 200 mg/hd/d in supplement ◦ ionophores can be hand fed every-other-day with similar performance benefits as long as average daily intake is the same

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36  Suckling calves -low dose estrogen (but not potential replacement heifers)  Stocker cattle-moderate dose estrogen or low dose combination  Plane of nutrition is important for response ◦ Response is % of current ADG so higher ADG greater response (if nutrients are there to support growth) ◦ If CP is marginal and using implant consider supplementing ◦ Effect of ionophores and implants are additive

37  Optimize profit  Think production per acre (with less input)  Manage both plant and animal  Plant growth (yield and nutrient content)  Animal nutrient intake

38  Forage quality varies greatly among and within forage crops, and nutritional needs vary among and within animal classes ◦ Try to match forage to animal needs  The more mature and fibrous (lower in quality) a forage, the longer it takes to be digested and the less an animal will consume.

39  The nutrient that is most limiting or deficient should be supplied first  While protein and minerals can limit animal performance, digestible energy is more likely to be the limiting factor from forage in grazing situations. ◦ Exceptions stockpiled range and feeding straw  If extra protein or energy is needed be sure to compare feeds per lb of nutrient needed when selecting a feed  Provide mineral and ionophore to stocker cattle


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