Submitted to: Research Update for Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate management strategies to efficiently utilize native rangelands in the Northern Great Plains for the production of growing cattle. A 3-yr study was completed on management strategies for yearling cattle grazing rangeland during the summer. Manipulation of time of grazing and stocking density and use of protein supplementation were evaluated as management options to improve animal performance. Nine pastures (36 to 79 ha) were assigned to one of three treatments. Each year, one hundred sixty one yearling steers were allotted to one of three treatments replicated in three pastures. Treatments were 1) season-long stocking (SS) - pastures were stocked at the recommended rate assuming a 4 month grazing period (average 5 ha/steer); 2) season-long stocking, protein supplemented (SSP)- pastures were stocked at a rate similar to treatment 1 and steers received a protein supplement in late summer; and 3) intensive early stocking (IES) - pastures were stocked at the recommended rate assuming only a 2 month grazing season (average 2 ha/steer). Supplementation was started in late summer and protein was fed as 1.82 kg of a 27% CP soybean meal and barley-based pellet every third day. IES steers tended to gain less weight (P < .10) than SS and SSP steers, however, production per hectare was increased (P < .01) by 27 kg. There was no effect (P > .10) of protein supplementation on weight gain of yearlings. We conclude that use of IES can improve production per hectare in the Northern Great Plains. Late summer protein supplementation was not beneficial to steers grazing rangelands with the forage quantity and quality available in this experiment.