Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2003
Publication Date: 11/2/2003
Citation: KARN, J.F., TANAKA, D.L., LIEBIG, M.A., KRONBERG, S.L., RIES, R.E., HANSON, J.D. INTEGRATED CROP/LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS IN THE NORTHERN PLAINS: WINTERING BEEF COWS ON SWATHED FORAGES. AGRONOMY ABSTRACTS. 2003. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: An integrated crop/livestock project was undertaken in 1999 to determine if combining crop and beef cattle production would benefit both enterprises. The cattle portion consisted of wintering dry gestating beef cows on swathed annual forages. Swath grazing studies were initiated in mid-November of 1999, 2000 and 2001 and terminated in mid-February, each year. Two replications of 10 Hereford cows were rotationally grazed on swathed oat/pea and triticale crop residue and swathed drilled corn (RGC). Comparison treatments were: cows grazing swathed western wheatgrass (WWG) and control (CON) cows fed hay in a drylot. Cows on the RGC treatment were also fed a 20% crude protein supplement of oat/pea and triticale grain. Drilled corn was swathed in late September and WWG in early October. Cow weight gains were highest (P<0.10) for RGC cows in 1999, and CON cows in 2000 and 2001. Cow condition scores generally agreed with weight gain data. Swathed forages did not show any consistent changes in crude protein, digestibility or phosphorus during the winter grazing period. Our data suggest that cows could be successfully wintered on swathed annual forages without affecting performance, and with the potential of lowering feed costs and reducing manure problems.