2008 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Research and develop rangeland animal management strategies and tactics that conserve rangeland resources while enhancing individual animal performance and herd productivity per unit area of land.
The research will be conducted at the 55,000+ acre USDA-ARS Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory (LARRL) and other mutually agreed upon sites. Research projects to be conducted at LARRL, and the mutually agreed upon sites, will be collaborative efforts in which both the University and ARS co-lead in the preparation, planning, and execution of experiments.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Livestock, primarily beef cattle, owned by the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) will be utilized to develop new understandings of the capacity of various animal genetic selection criterion and reproductive and nutrient management strategies to enhance rangeland based, animal productivity in concert with the ecological and economic sustainability of rangeland based animal agriculture. Results will be summarized and disseminated to producers, researchers, rangeland managers, and other interested parties.
This project involved routine husbandry and management of beef cattle and other livestock used in research to reduce costs of efficient beef production. Research activities included accurate, timely measurement, and recording of body weights, milk production, reproductive cyclicity, pregnancy diagnosis, dystocia, calf survival, feed intake, and other phenotypes associated with efficient production and as prescribed by project protocols; experimental interventions, and collection of blood samples. This research was critical to collection of data and samples, and maintenance of animals for accomplishment of all objectives in current projects. ADODR monitoring included technical review and oversight at Fort Keogh, phone calls and conference calls, meetings, and e-mails.