Watch for poisonous plants. “It seems that raising cattle and baling hay go hand in hand. “Find the cheapest source of calories, and feed those sources of feed,” Loerch said. Whole-shelled – not ground – corn is recommended for the mixed diet feeding method. This week’s snowy weather has reminded cow calf producers that winter hay feeding has begun or will begin shortly. Feed cost is the highest variable cost on most cow/calf operations. And they are doing just fine. Roll out those bales and allow cows to selectively eat the hay. Dairymen also depend on winter annuals for forage during the early fall and late spring, as well as the winter season. Straw can be used extensively as winter feed if energy, protein, mineral and vitamin requirements are met. Besides feeding very little hay to his cows, Gibson also feeds only a small amount of cubed protein supplement -- about 100 pounds over 60 days in the late fall while they are grazing dormant native grass. Registered in England and Wales. Without question, feed costs across the entire beef industry have increased substantially over the past 18 months. It’s a good practice to install a high-use area when using rings. When factoring in the cost of land, feeding, fertilizer, labor and depreciation of equipment, hay costs roughly $70 per ton to produce. Alicia Boor is an Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in the Cottonwood District. If no, stop. “If the snow gets too deep, the cows will need supplemental feed,” he said. But the dry, brown grass available in the winter does not have the nutrition necessary to maintain a cow … Gunter SA, Cassida KM, Beck PA, Phillips JM: Winter-annual grasses as a supplement for beef cows. The exact amount depends on cow size, milk production levels and the analysis of the cornstalks (or soybean stubble, wheat straw, poor quality hay). Producers make hay off the pasture in the spring to feed during winter,” said Steven Loerch, a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, during a presentation at the Agricultural Systems and the Environment field day in early July. Grazing cornstalks. This figure included N,P and K, only without putting a value on minor and trace minerals or organic matter. Limit feeding a corn-based diet can be a cost-effective option for meeting the nutrient requirements of cows. Next to pasture, good quality hay is the ideal feed. Trials used round-baled grass hay, whole corn and stockpiled pasture, Loerch said. First, you need to identify a water source. There are a number of strategies employed by livestock producers to incorporate feeds of differing value in a wintering program. Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC. Preparing pasture. "Cows will select the residue in the order of corn grain, husks, leaves, and finally, stalks," Shike said. Copyright © 2020. Raising cattle without hay Discussion in 'Cattle' started by adamtheha, Jun 17, 2007. This is a “no go.” During our cow-calf study, we reduced the number of feeding days. The cubes cost $12 to $15 per cow. The timing was an attempt to mimic what resources producers would be willing to spend, Loerch said. Recent analyses show that hay costs between $0.02 and $0.07 per pound of dry matter; usually more than double the cost for the same amount of nutrients from pasture. "Corn yield will determine how much residue is available," he said. Get 4 Weeks of Farm and Dairy Home DeliveredSign Up for your FREE Trial. Full-feeding hay often exceeds their nutritional requirements. Pasture land should also be fertilized, Loerch said, and by November or December, the land will be ready to support a herd. Continuous grazing allows cows access to the entire corn field. "Unfortunately, cows aren't very good at eating only what they need," he said. Cow body condi-tion score change was not diff erent between treatments in western Nebraska, but was greater for pairs fed in a drylot in eastern Nebraska. "With hay in short supply and feed costs at record highs, producers need to have a plan in place," he said. However, there are significant differences in the variety, quality and availability of hay, which can make feeding your livestock a time-consuming chore. Petry, ¶ * Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University, Dickinson 58601; Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University Dickinson 58601 †Animal and Range … "When corn yield is high, the amount of residue available is high. Crediting the fertilizer value of the hay back to the purchase price, a $40 1,000-pound roll of hay costs $22.75. Several studies have shown that dependent on market prices, using corn grain, corn gluten feed or distillers' grains, the cost of a pregnant cow's wintering ration can be reduced when displacing hay. Shike said one of the best alternatives available to Illinois cattle producers is the use of cornstalks and co-products such as distillers grains, corn gluten feed and soyhulls. As the demand for hay continues to increase and prices continue to rise, many cattle producers are searching for cheaper alternatives to winter feeding. Feeding whole corn also helps cattle eat consistently and not go off feed. Auburn University research indicates at least a $28-per-cow savings in wintering cost from stockpiling and grazing fescue. “The value of pasture is about $53 per acre,” Loerch said. Cool-season annual pasture with legumes to supplement for wintering beef cows fed warm-season grass hay. Featuring Specialty Antique Auctions, Stores and Shows, Hundreds of Classifieds, Autos & Real Estate Listings. But there are drawbacks to winter pasture feeding. “Think outside the box. As winter approaches, the tame pasture should be used first, native range next, and hay last. CAS PubMed Google Scholar 6. In his research, Loerch used limited hand feeding of corn along fence rows at the rate of 10-12 pounds per head per day, he said. Under cold conditions a minimum of ¾ to 1 pound of hay per 100 pounds of body weight is suggested along with grain being fed. • Grass hay is usually lower in energy and protein than mixed legume grass hay. “It takes four or five days for the animals to get used to the new diet and to not having food available all through the day. "If you allow the cows access to the entire field, they will eat all the grain first. Each cow requires a daily intake of 40 pounds of round-baled hay, which amounts to $1.61 if pricing hay at $80 per ton. Avoid grinding or processing bales if poisonous plants are a concern. You’re not locked into feeding hay,” he said. Feeding hay to cattle is expensive. Cows on pasture. Witnessing the cows employ techniques once used by wild ruminants such as bison, elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep on the Great Plains and in the Rocky Mountain West, Bishopp realized his hypothesis was correct: he could indeed feed cattle for part of the winter without using hay. 4. For roughage they're getting grass! If I push my place and run at max stocking rate(20 acres per cow) that adds up to $259.80 per cow for land. Tall, high-quality pastures that have been prevented from going to seed by your pasture management during the summer grazing season will require the least supplementation, will entice your cattle to graze longer, and will stand up best to the ravages of wind, rain and snow. J Anim Sci. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. Feeding $3.00 per bushel corn to the dry spring-calving cow is not a good investment. Finding hay at that price is rare in Ohio, according to Loerch, who also noted that most farmers can’t even produce hay that inexpensively. Schils RLM, Eriksen J, Ledgard SF, Vellinga … These results indicate that the method in which round bales are fed could reduce the amount feed required to winter cows thereby reducing wintering costs. Nebraska University published an article recently where they valued the minerals in a ton of alfalfa hay at $34.50 a ton. The second concept to keep in mind is organization. This is the key. COSHOCTON, Ohio – Beef cattle farmers know all too well that winter feeding takes a big bite out of the ruminants’ maintenance budget. Growing Hay for the Cattle - America's Heartland - Duration: ... How We Feed Cattle In Winter Putting Out Hay with A Tractor East Texas - Duration: 5:21. bwcpublishing 22,804 views. Tree lines, low areas and fence rows are all natural snow catches, and while convenient, are poor locations for winter bale storage. “The cows are getting top-quality feed to help them keep body condition,” Faulkner says. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. Such strategies may be of particular relevance during periods The reader is cautioned not to draw early conclusions from this preliminary investigation. Again, the amount and type of supplement depends on stage of production and cow size. This is before they go onto fescue. Lardy, †R. Fast, ‡ C.J. Previous Ohio State research shows that whole corn works better when the daily intake of hay per cow is limited to five pounds or less. Loerch also noted the paddocks could have support twice as many cattle if they were rotated daily. In addition, producers must consider fencing options. They’ll need more in the winter, so the price will go up. Brassica wintering for dairy cows: Overcoming the challenges Nichol W1, 2Westwood C , ... forage crops and / or pasture plus silage, hay and /or straw. After 48 years, he's seen a lot and ‘not finished killing bugs’, Allowed HTML tags:


. The University of Nebraska has conducted several studies to evaluate limit feeding cows. Year-round Grazing Using Standing Corn for Winter Feed Researchers prove raising cattle with little to no hay can be done in the West. Strip grazing divides the field up into strips and allows the cows access to a new strip every two weeks. Grazing corn stalks is enough. But, if snow covers the grass deeply or weather gets quite cold, they may need hay. (December 15, 2009) A: It depends. The mindset that beef cows should be fed hay in the winter eats up farm profits. If you are running dry cows, then good stockpiled grass is sufficient even in a good snow. 3. Producers can benefit from finding a way to use these products in cow-calf operation rations, especially in cases where extra protein is needed such as with poor quality hay. Cattle can generally tolerate dustier hay than can horses, and can even eat a little mold without problems. 2. In some years, we were able to push through without feeding hay on some replications. 1999; 77 (Suppl 1):9. Just don’t turn a whole herd loose on the whole area. If it's not possible to access cornstalks to graze, producers can also utilized baled cornstalks. A rough estimate would be about 2 percent of their bodyweight for about 120 days. Thin or old cows and timid cows do not compete well for feed against more aggressive mature cows. Thus you will also double your winter feed costs, which at current prices can easily add $300 per cow. It's the end of December, & no hay. If the hay is alfalfa that is average quality or better, it would also be a good protein source. Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers with the prolonged drought last summer upsetting haymaking plans. Informa Markets, a trading division of Informa PLC. 1999, 77 (Suppl 1): 9. Limit-feeding of hay encourages cows to reduce grazing and fails to use pastures while qual-ity is reasonably good. ", https://www.farmprogress.com/sites/all/themes/penton_subtheme_farmprogress/images/logos/footer.png. Keep hay or adequate pasture available for cows at all times. To determine stocking rates, Shike recommends factoring in stage of production and cow size to determine the cows' requirements. • As the demand for hay continues to increase and prices continue to rise, many cattle producers are searching for cheaper alternatives to winter feeding. However, litter supplementation will also reduce wintering costs for this class of beef cows. (You can contact Andrea Myers at 1-800-837-3419, ext. Use a 1:1 mineral. Record body condition scores on cows. Very similar, indeed. The quality of the hay you feed will also depend on whether you are feeding mature beef cattle, young calves or dairy cows. Forage was depleted by mid-February, after which the cows were put on the corn-based diet. Unrolling hay bales is another feeding practice used widely. These cows are no different than the heifers or first-calf cows and require a higher quality ration to get through the winter. Second, in the process of searching out all of the grain, they can trample in the husks and leaves, which is more of a problem in wet years.". The BP system utilized a Highline 6800 bale processor to feed 1 hay and straw bale every 3 days, with feeding areas rotated throughout the paddock over the course of the trial. Processing hay for range cows with a bale processor increased the cost of feeding without enhancing animal performance. Looking for a more cost-effective way to feed your cattle this winter? When hay supplies are low, differing options for wintering the cow herd have to be considered. Meat and poultry workers high priority for COVID vaccine, Weekly Grain Movement – Soybeans outpace trade estimates, How USDA’s January reports could impact your marketing decisions. Several studies have shown that dependent on market prices, using corn grain, corn gluten feed or distillers’ grains, the cost of a pregnant cow’s wintering ration can be reduced when displacing hay. However, lactating cows may need as much as 12 to 15 pounds of co-product. “Producers always assume they have to bale and feed hay.”. You can easily double your hay usage, if your method of feeding is to place bales out in the pasture or lot without any type of feeder. Distillers grains and corn gluten feed are both high in protein and phosphorous. “The more frequently [the cows] are moved, the better use you’ll make of the land. Adjust feed for cold weather How much hay or supplement a cow needs depends on weather conditions, cow age and body condition, available pasture or crop residue, and reproductive stage of the cow. Effect of Hay Feeding Methods on Cow Performance, Hay Waste, and Wintering Cost D.G. They were also fed corn during days of snow cover, approximately 14 days each winter. How much hay or supplement a cow needs depends on weather conditions, cow age and body condition, available pasture or crop residue, and reproductive stage of the cow. In the upper Midwest a mature cow will eat approximately 3 tons of hay during a common 6-month winter-feeding period. It is usually necessary to feed grain and a protein supplement with grass hay. They are easy to handle and require little equipment, facility, ... libitum hay diets fed in herds with ≥ 100 cows "With more acres going toward corn and soybean production, acres in hay production are lower than normal," said Dan Shike, University of Illinois beef cattle nutritionist and professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. The grain route. © 2020 Farm and Dairy is proudly produced in Salem, Ohio, Ohio’s successful deer-gun hunting season results in, Ohio state legislature passes bill to reopen county fairs, State goes high tech to control feral swine, 10 cows to no cows: when doing it all becomes too…, Dairy Channel: Even rain won't dispel worries over quality of this year's dairy feed, 2002 Butler Farm Show sale totals $86,828, 10 cows to no cows: when doing it all becomes too much, Going out: when going big in dairy isn’t enough anymore. Hay is the most commonly used winter feed for beef cattle, but it’s also the most expensive. Former staff reporter Andrea Zippay wrote for Farm and Dairy from 2001 to 2009. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. A case often seen is a producer who has a good haylage as well as a mature hay source. For example, assume avail-able forage for grazing or feeding includes some tame pasture (such as coastal bermudagrass), some native range, and some hay. "The wet spring, followed by an extremely hot and dry summer, reduced hay production even further. The dry cows and heifers bale feeders ran out. Eff ects of wintering cow- calf pairs on cornstalks or in a drylot on cow- calf per-formance and reproduction in a summer- calving intensively managed cowherd were evaluated at two locations. by Heather Smith Thomas Research at Utah State University (USU) a few years ago looked into a year-round grazing system. "If you offer a high-quality hay, they will actually eat more than if they are fed a lower-quality hay or a crop residue such as cornstalks, soybean stubble or wheat straw.". Cold weather and lactation rations always require additional grain or pellets. Older cattle eat more per unit body weight than younger cattle. Lines and paragraphs break automatically. “If you have other uses for your pasture that will generate more money than that, then stockpiling forage is not the best option. For next year. But there is good news: Alternative feeding methods can reduce cost without affecting productivity, and August is the time to start thinking about them. Depending on the quality, it could also be a good protein source, but in most situations hay would be fed to meet the energy needs of the beef cow. "Much of the work we have done at Illinois has focused on lactating cows in late winter and early spring before we can go to grass," he said. The exact amount depends on cow size, milk production levels and the analysis of the cornstalks (or soybean stubble, wheat straw, poor quality hay). This was 1st cut alfalfa we fed in this video. In addition, producers must consider fencing options. Forage brassicas, particularly kale and swedes, are the more common crops used for wintering dry cows. “Because hay only has about half the energy value as corn grain, the break-even price for hay on an energy basis would be approximately $40 a ton. When it comes to supplementing cornstalks, it's important to consider protein and phosphorous levels. “With corn feeding, the cows come up every time they’re fed, the know you’re responsible for their feed,” Loerch said. These Replacing hay in your ration with corn this winter could be beneficial. “We had 31 cows grazing 34 acres of stockpiled orchard grass,” Loerch said. Prolonged drought last summer upset haymaking plans. Still need forage. Wachenheim, § T.A. “If corn is used to provide most of the energy, then the intake has to be restricted so the cows don’t get fat,” Loerch pointed out. 2002, 80: 1157-1165. Spring-calving cows have the lowest nutritional needs in the fall and early winter, Shike said. For example; a diet for a 1,400 lb beef cow that was 28–30 lb of hay/day can be changed to 20 lb of hay plus 5 lb of grain (5/25 × 100 = 20% grain). Providing ad libitum access to cornstalk bales and offering a co-product supplement is also a good option. cattle producer with less than 200 acres and split herds of no more than 25 cows. Better-quality forage should be offered during the winter to keep cows in condition. Portable water tanks will work, but if you plan to graze into the winter, then you will want to consider a heating source for the water. U of I animal scientists have conducted many research studies on alternatives to feeding hay. I would think for one or two cows it would be easier to purchase your feed than to cut hay but you must remember that a cow must be able to wrap their tongue around grass to be able to graze and when it gets Alberta cold, they do need a fair amount of feed to get by. Wintering Livestock Using Alternate Day Feeding. Gibson still buys and keeps a little hay for his cows, but most winters he feeds none. Winter Cow Feeding Strategies Travis Meteer ... • Ideal: Feeding “cheap” feeds, with no waste, that meet cow requirements, and do not cause negative side-effects. “Corn grain is the least expensive harvested source of digestible energy per unit available to producers in Ohio,” Loerch explained. If hay is of decent quality, most of the cow's protein and energy requirements are provided hay, and no supplements are necessary. So we added another hay bale. With poorer projected corn yields this year, there will likely not be fewer grazing days available. They feed a lot of cover crops that are put up as hay. "Grazing cornstalks and supplementing co-products is likely the most economical option in Illinois," he said. Gunter SA, Cassida KM, Beck PA, Phillips JM. And it’s the tradition, the mindset that beef cows should be fed hay in the winter, that gnaws farthest into the farm budget book. Loerch also tested the profitability of stockpiled pasture as a winter feeding system. The 'waste' will grow more than 2-3 times the amount of grass for the following years to come, the extra water holding capacity from the mulch or litter is carbon and food for the soil biology. However, there are other options of maintaining a cow through the winter that are more cost-effective. In northern Kansas, for the last two years, a neighbor has been able to feed his herd of 40-50 head of cattle until March or April without using hay. “Cows on all three wintering systems gained about the same weight from October to mid-February and maintained similar body-condition scores. We also reduced our hay and range cube feedings during the trial. “Favorable prices make this a good time to cull unproductive cows.” Burris said producers should calculate the amount of hay they need to feed cows through the winter. Hay is an energy source. “Right now we’re burning up, and some are feeding hay now. Cattle from multiple pastures can be managed to be totally confined, confined for a few hours, or free to enter and exit the structure as they please. By Jennifer Shike, University of Illinois | Nov 03, 2011. First, the cows can actually eat too much grain. During the winter months, whole corn can also be fed in bunks or on the ground and remains easy for cattle to pick up, he said. For example, assume avail-able forage for grazing or feeding includes some tame pasture (such as coastal bermudagrass), some native range, and some hay. This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Since it takes time for the rumen to break the seed coat, whole corn delays the release of starch and spreads fermentation through the course of the entire day, providing energy so the animals only need to be fed once a day. The total winter feeding cost if using hay, therefore, would likely range between $224 and $269 per cow (Table 1). Early August is the time to set aside acreage if you intend to stockpile winter pasture. Some herds do well through fall and winter on good native pasture with just a salt/mineral supplement, especially if cows aren’t nursing calves. Portable water tanks will work, but if you plan to graze into the winter, then you will want to consider a heating source for the water. Grazing Rule #6: Use your pasture rotation during the growing season to prepare perfect pastures for winter grazing. Using native grass (NG) as a stockpiled, standing hay crop is one of the most cost-effective methods of overwintering the cow herd. At $2 per bushel, or $71 per ton, corn is not only cheaper than hay, but it also boasts a much higher energy value. In research trials, 30 cows were grazed on 5-acre paddocks for 17 days. Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox! If it is dry while you are grazing, the cows' harvesting efficiency is higher than during wet years when more residue will be trampled into the ground.". Beef nutritionist Eric Bailey, University of Missouri Extension, answered farmers’ questions at the Missouri Livestock Symposium in Kirksville. For spring … Cornstalk residue and co-products can also meet the needs of lactating cows, Shike said. That would be approximately 25 pounds per day for 120 days or about 3,000 pounds of hay per cow. Jun 17, 2007 #1 . Not only will hay be in high demand in the Midwest and Illinois, but extreme drought in the Southwest will also increase the national demand for hay.". In the DL system, cows were fed daily with a feed wagon and tractor. Dry matter intake, as a percent of body weight, can vary from 1.5 percent on straw to 2.75 percent on quality alfalfa hay. He's never put a dollar value on the near elimination of hay from his ranch, but researchers have put a value on it. Various forages are used as the primary feed source for wintering cows. ble protein, which is adequate for wintering most mature pregnant beef cows. Shockey JD, Gunter SA: Cool-season annual pasture with legumes to supplement for wintering beef cows fed warm-season grass hay. Cattle producers can mitigate the winter conditions to some extent with proper planning, facility design and good management practices.

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