Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Heifer Production on Rangeland and Seeded Forages in the Northern Great Plains

Authors
item Haferkamp, Marshall
item Macneil, Michael
item Grings, Elaine
item Klement, Keith

Submitted to: Rangeland Ecology and Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 14, 2005
Publication Date: September 15, 2005
Repository URL: http://ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/54340000/Publications/RangEcolManag58495-504.pdf
Citation: Haferkamp, M.R., Macneil, M.D., Grings, E.E., Klement, K.D. 2005. Heifer production on rangeland and seeded forages in the northern great plains. Rangeland Ecology and Management 58:495-504.

Interpretive Summary: Complementary use of seeded perennial cool-season grass pastures with native rangeland can increase available forage and provide a high plane of nutrition for grazing livestock. We compared performance of yearling beef heifers grazing native rangeland with those grazing pastures seeded to 'Rosana' western, 'Luna' pubescent, or 'Hycrest' crested wheatgrass in spring, and pastures seeded to 'Alkar' tall wheatgrass, 'NewHy' hybrid wheatgrass, 'Bozoisky' Russian wildrye, or 'Prairieland' Altai wildrye in autumn. All heifers grazed native rangeland during summer. Heifers exhibited greater weight gains on seeded pastures than on native rangeland in spring and autumn of most years. In 2 out of 3 years, heifers grazing on native rangeland during spring gained more during summer than heifers grazing seeded pastures in spring. Results suggest a management paradigm wherein Hycrest is grazed in spring and Prairieland is grazed in autumn. However, response in livestock performance may not be consistent across all years and management tactics may need to be modified to take full advantage of seeded pastures.

Technical Abstract: Complementary use of seeded perennial cool-season grass pastures with native rangeland can increase available forage and provide a high plane of nutrition for grazing livestock. We compared performance of yearling beef heifers grazing native rangeland with those grazing pastures seeded to 'Rosana' western (Pascopyron smithii), 'Luna' pubescent (Elytrigia intermedia), or 'Hycrest' crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum ssp. desertorum) in spring, and pastures seeded to 'Alkar' tall wheatgrass (Thinopyrum ponticum), 'NewHy' hybrid wheatgrass (Elymus hoffmannii), 'Bozoisky' Russian wildrye (Psathyrostachys juncea), or 'Prairieland' Altai wildrye (Leymus angustus) in autumn. Heifers grazed native rangeland during summer. Heifers exhibited greater weight gains on seeded pastures than on native rangeland in spring and autumn of most years. In 2 out of 3 years, heifers grazing on native rangeland during spring gained more during summer than heifers grazing seeded pastures in spring. Spring + summer gains averaged 0.56 ± 0.01 kg'head-1'd-1 and 73.1 ± 1.6 kg'head-1. Results suggest a management paradigm wherein Hycrest is grazed in spring and Prairieland is grazed in autumn. However, response in livestock performance may not be consistent across all years and management tactics may need to be modified to take full advantage of seeded pastures.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page