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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Prior Feeding Practices Do Not Influence Locoweed Consumption

Authors
item Ralphs, Michael
item Greathouse, Gary - CSU RESEARCH FOUNDATION
item Knight, Anthony - CSU
item Doherty, D. - CSU
item Graham, J. - UNION COUNTY EXTENSION
item Stegelmeier, Bryan
item James, Lynn

Submitted to: Journal of Range Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2001
Publication Date: July 1, 2002
Citation: Ralphs, M.H., Greathouse, G., Knight, A.P., Doherty, D., Graham, J.D., Stegelmeier, B.L., James, L.F. 2002. Influence of winter feeding regimen on locoweed consumption in the spring. Journal of Range Management.

Interpretive Summary: Anecdotal evidence suggests that cattle fed alfalfa hay during the winter are inclined to graze locoweed on spring range. Two studies were conducted to compare the influence of feeding alfalfa hay vs grass hay during the winter on subsequent consumption of white locoweed (Oxytropis sericea) in the spring. Cattle fed alfalfa during the winter did not consume more locoweed in the spring and early summer than cattle fed grass hay. Other preconditioning feeding practices (such as grazing winter wheat or mineral supplements) did not prevent cattle from grazing locoweed. Prevention of locoweed poisoning at this point in time lies exclusively in not allowing animals to graze locoweed-infested areas when it is relatively more palatable than associated forages.

Technical Abstract: Anecdotal evidence suggests that cattle fed alfalfa hay during the winter are inclined to graze locoweed on spring range. Two studies were conducted to compare the influence of feeding alfalfa hay vs grass hay during the winter on subsequent consumption of white locoweed (Oxytropis sericea) in the spring. Eight cows were fed alfalfa hay (15.2%CP in 1998, 17.1%CP in 2000) and 8 cows were fed grass hay (10.7%CP in 1998, 12.1%CP in 2000) plu 20% protein) plus 20% protein molasses block during the January -April winter feeding period. Cows grazed on white locoweed-infested range in May and June in northern Colorado in 1998 and in northeast New Mexico in 2000. There was no difference in locoweed consumption between the two groups (P>0.22). Cattle grazed locoweed for 5% of diets in Colorado and 10% of diets in New Mexico. Feeding alfalfa hay over winter did not predispose cattle to graze locoweed in the spring.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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