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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Forage and Livestock Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #121354

Title: CUTTING HAY IN THE AFTERNOON TO IMPROVE STOCKER PERFORMANCE

Author
item Appeddu, Lisa

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Oklahoma Section Newsletter
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2001
Publication Date: 3/1/2001
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cool season perennial grasses were grown and harvested in the Southern Great Plains to investigate the daily variation in available plant nutrients on stocker intake and growth. Four grass varieties (Triumph' tall fescue, 'Jose' tall wheatgrass, 'Luna' pubescent wheatgrass, and 'Paiute' orchardgrass) were cut for hay at 0730 or 1400 in April 1998. Hard red winter wheat was cut in the morning only. Protein increased in the afternoon vs. morning cuttings of 'Triumph' (11 vs. 13%) and 'Jose' (10 vs. 14%) hays. Digestibility was most increased in 'Jose' (74 vs. 81%). Wheat hay was lower in protein (10%) than 'Luna' and 'Paiute' (15% average), but had lower fiber (50 vs. 53%) and similar digestibilities (80 vs. 81%). When allowed to select between cuttings, lambs consumed more hay cut in the afternoon versus morning (.64 vs. .36 lb). Across hay varieties, lambs most preferred wheat(.59 lb) and 'Luna' (.61 lb), but consumed 'Triumph' (.16 lb) the least. Over a 21-day performance trial, lambs consumed more 'Luna' and 'Paiute' (2.5 lb/d) than 'Triumph' and 'Jose' (2.1 lb/d). Wheat hay intake (2.2 lb/d) was intermediate. Overall feed efficiency was increased for hay cut in the afternoon versus morning (.22 vs. .19), and was most pronounced in 'Jose' (.18 vs. .26) and 'Luna' (.18 vs. .22). Wheat feed efficiency (.23) was similar to grass hays cut in the afternoon. This research suggests producers may impact the acceptability, intake, and utilization of cool season forages offered to stockers by cutting hay in the afternoon.