Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2003
Publication Date: November 4, 2004
Citation: Haferkamp, M.R., Macneil, M.D., Grings, E.E., Heitschmidt, R.K., Klement, K.D. 2004. Heifer production on rangeland and cool-season forages in the northern great plains. Agronomy Abstracts #508. On CD only. Technical Abstract: Seeding perennial cool-season grasses can extend grazing seasons for rangeland-based operations. In this study heifers grazed on replicated seeded pastures of 'Rosana' western wheatgrass (WG), 'Luna' pubescent WG, 'Hycrest' crested WG, or native rangeland from mid-April to late May of 2000-2002. Seven yearling heifers grazed each experimental unit. All heifers grazed native rangeland from late May to late August. Average daily gains (ADG) in 2000 were greatest on Hycrest and Luna (2.1 lbs), intermediate on Rosana (1.6 lbs), and least on native rangeland (0.6 lbs). ADG in 2001 were equal among seeded pastures (2.0 lbs) vs. 0.02 lbs on native rangeland. In 2002, ADG were greatest on Hycrest (2.2 lbs) and equal on the other pastures and rangeland (1.6 lbs). Although seeded pastures produced higher ADG in spring, ADG for all heifers averaged 1.2 lbs for the period from mid-April to late August, across all three years, whether they grazed seeded pastures or native rangeland in spring. Equal ADG during spring+summer period resulted from ADG of heifers grazing native rangeland in spring being greater during the summer of 2000 and 2001 than ADG for heifers grazing seeded pastures in spring. Increased gains can occur on seeded forages compared to native rangeland during spring grazing, but the advantage may not be maintained through summer when shifted to an all native rangeland diet.