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Performance of stocker cattle grazing cool-season annual grass mixtures in Northern Arkansas


, : Performance of stocker cattle grazing cool-season annual grass mixtures in Northern Arkansas. Professional Animal Scientist 21(6): 465-473

Over 3 yr, cool-season annual grasses, including oats (Avena sativa L), cereal rye (Secale cereale L; CR), annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.; RG), and soft-red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L) or the combinations of CR and RG (RRG); wheat and CR (WR); wheat and RG (WRG); or wheat, CR, and RG (WRRG) were planted in twenty-four 0.81-ha pastures on the University of Arkansas Livestock and Forestry Branch Station near Batesville to evaluate the effect of species of cool-season annual grass on the growth of stocker calves. Grazing was initiated on January 6, October 23, and October 30 in Year 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Summarized across year, animal performance during the fall and winter was not affected (P=0.20) by combination of cool-season annual grass, averaging 1.16 kg/d. Across year, the greatest ADG during the spring was observed for stocker calves on the RG, RRG, wheat, and WRG treatments, which did not differ (P>0.10). The spring ADG of stocker calves on the RRG treatment was 19% greater (P<0.02) than that of stocker calves on oats, CR, WR, and WRRG. Across year, gain per hectare was not different (P>0.10) for calves on the RRG, RG, WRG, and wheat treatments; calves on RRG had greater (P=0.05) gain per hectare than calves on WRRG. Addition of RG to CR or wheat yielded the greatest in ADG and gain per hectare in 2 of the 3 yr and when averaged across year. If this enterprise were used for custom grazing and pasture were charged at $35/45.4 kg of BW gain, profit per hectare would be best for RG, RRG, wheat, and WRG (averaging $305.29, $313.64, $305.86, and $295.93/ha, respectively).

US$29.90


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