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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Stocking Rate Effects on Steer Performance for Two Methods of Avoiding Fescue Toxicosis

Author
item Aiken, Glen

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Branch Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 3, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Tall fescue is typically not grazed during the summer when growth of the cool-season perennial is low, and high ambient temperatures and humidity can exacerbate fescue toxicosis. A grazing study was conducted with yearling steers to compare stocking rate effects between two methods of avoiding fescue toxicosis. Two replications of four stocking rates (3, 4, 5, and 6 steers ha-1) were randomly assigned to eight, 1-ha pastures of 'K-31' tall fescue in the early spring of 1997 and 1998. Following approximately 56-d of grazing, replicates of each stocking rate were randomly assigned to four, 1-ha pastures of 'Pete' eastern gamagrass. Steers remaining on tall fescue were fed daily a 1:1 broiler litter-corn mixture (2.27 kg [as fed] steer/d). There was a method by stocking rate interaction (P < 0.05) on both ADG and gain per ha. Lighter stocking generally favored higher ADG and gain per ha for eastern gamagrass, while heavier stocking favored higher responses for tall fescue plus broiler litter-corn. A higher proportion (P < 0.01) of steers on tall fescue plus broiler litter-corn had rough hair coats at the end of summer grazing. Moderate steer performance is possible with both methods of alleviating fescue toxicosis; however, steers on tall fescue plus broiler litter-corn can still exhibit symptoms of toxicosis.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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