|Flores, R - UNIV OF ARKANSAS|
|Rosenkrans, Jr, C - UNIV OF ARKANSAS|
Submitted to: American Society of Animal Science Southern Section Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 24, 2003
Publication Date: February 14, 2004
Citation: LOOPER, M.L., AIKEN, G.E., FLORES, R., ROSENKRANS, JR, C.F. 2004. EFFECTS OF DIET ON PERFORMANCE, REPRODUCTION, AND ECONOMICS OF MARKET COWS GRAZING STOCKPILED FESCUE. AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANIMAL SCIENCE SOUTHERN SECTION MEETING. 82(Suppl. 2):4. Technical Abstract: Forty-two crossbred, nonpregnant cows (mean age = 4.3 ± 0.2 yr) were purchased from local auction barns to determine the effect of diet on performance, reproduction, and economics of market cows grazing stockpiled, endophyte-infected fescue (Festuca arundinacea). Cows were assigned to one of three replicated paddocks of stockpiled fescue for 160 d and fed diets of either soyhulls (SH), corn:soybean meal (CSB), or not supplemented (control) at 0.91 kg/d. Feed cost was $0.13/kg for soyhulls and $0.18/kg for the corn:soybean meal ration. Cows were exposed to bulls and palpated for pregnancy. Cows weighed 395 ± 6 kg and a BCS of 4.3 ± 0.1 at the initiation of the study. Mean purchase price was $385/cow ($0.97/kg). Diet did not alter (P > 0.10) ADG of cows. Control cows gained 0.55 kg/d while CSB and SH cows averaged 0.61 and 0.63 kg/d, respectively. Change in body condition tended (P = 0.08) to be greater for SH cows (1.8 ± 0.2 units increase) than CSB and control cows (mean = 1.3 ± 0.2 units change). Reproductive performance was not different (P > 0.10) across nutritional treatments. Ninety percent of all cows were pregnant at the end of the grazing period. At selling, SH cows tended (P = 0.06) to have increased weight (515.9 ± 13.6 kg) compared with CSB cows (486.4 ± 13.6 kg) and control cows (472.7 ± 11.4 kg). Selling price of cows was not different (P > 0.10) and averaged $638, $612, and $597 for CSB, SH and control cows, respectively. Average income over purchase price and feed costs was similar among nutritional treatments (P > 0.10) and was $227 for CSB cows, $212 for control cows, and $208 for SH cows. With increased feed costs, supplementation of market cows grazing stockpiled fescue may not increase profitability.