Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2002
Publication Date: February 1, 2003
Citation: HAFERKAMP, M.R., MACNEIL, M.D., GRINGS, E.E., HEITSCHMIDT, R.K., KLEMENT, K.D. HEIFER PRODUCTION ON COOL-SEASON FORAGES IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS. SOCIETY FOR RANGE MANAGEMENT MEETING PROCEEDINGS. 2003. Abstract #93. Technical Abstract: Seeding perennial cool-season grasses has been proposed as a means to extend grazing seasons for rangeland based operations. However, few available varieties have been evaluated for livestock performance. In this study yearling heifers (n=7) were grazed on replicated seeded pastures of 'Rosana' western wheatgrass (WG), 'Luna' pubescent WG,`Hycrest' crested WG, or native rangeland from 18 Apr. to 30 May 2000 and 26 Apr. to 23 May 2001. All heifers were grazed on native rangeland from 30 May to 1 Sep. 2000 and 23 May to 30 Aug. 2001. Average gain/head/day(lbs) in 2000 was greatest on Hycrest and Luna (2.1), intermediate on Rosana (1.6), and least on native rangeland (0.6), and gains in 2001 averaged 2.0 on seeded pastures vs. 0.02 on native rangeland. When gains were compared for the period from early spring through late summer no significant differences were detected among the pastures, and gains averaged 1.2 lbs/head/day. The increased gains on seeded pastures compared to native rangeland in spring did not have an effect on heifer pregnancy rates. Increased gains can occur on seeded pastures compared to native rangeland during spring grazing, but these gains may not be maintained through summer in the Northern Great Plains.