Feed Lot

SEP-OCT 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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In an ideal world, every bale of summer hay was harvested per- fectly resulting in large quantities of bright green, high-quality hay. Designing cattle diets can be easy under those conditions. Unfortunately, conditions are far from ideal in much of the north- ern plains this year. Hay will be short and producers will be forced to use some feedstuffs that may be unconventional or less than ideal. So how do we make use of those feeds? The good news is some quality issues can be fixed with proper supplementation. Ruminants have the unique abil- ity to make use of relatively poor- quality feeds, as long as we provide the right supplements for the ru- men microbes. When relying on supplements to provide nutrients forages lack, the key is knowing the kind and amount of supplementation your cattle require. To illustrate the point, Table 1 shows the amount of feed required for drylotted 800 pound yearling heifers gaining 1.3 pounds using poor, average or high-quality grass hay, plus supplements. Hay Quality T h e e x p e c t e d p e r f o r m a n c e and costs per day are relatively similar between the three kinds of hay. However, the supplements required to achieve those results are quite different. Poor quality hay requires almost twice the dried distillers grains (DDGS) as average hay, while the higher protein hay achieved the same performance target with only a small quantity of corn grain. sampling & Testing Relying on book values can be extremely risky, especially during challenging growing conditions. 24 FEED•LOT  September/October 2017 COW/CALF CORNER UGLY FEEDS By WArren rusCHe, sDsu exTension BeeF FeeDloT MAnAgeMenT AssoCiATe Table 1. Heifer diets using three different kinds of grass hay. Poor Average High Quality Hay Quality Hay Quality Hay NE g , Mcal 20 24 26 CP, % 6.5 8.5 13 Hay, lbs 20 22 23 DDGS, lbs 4 2.25 — Corn, lbs — — 1 ADG, lbs 1.3 1.3 1.3 Feed Cost per day, $* $1.19 $1.21 $1.20 *Assumes hay at $100 per ton, DDGS at $96 per ton, and corn at $3.00 per bushel HOW TO UTILIZE THEM

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