Extended Grazing Systems for Improving Economic Returns from Nebraska Sandhills Cow/calf Operations

Don C. Adams, Richard T. Clark, Sean A. Coady, James B. Lamb, Merlyn K. Nielsen
1994 Journal of range management  
Three winter treatments were cross classified with 2 spring treatments to create 6 feeding and grazing systems utilizing Nebraska sandhills range and subirrigated meadow forage. Systems were evaluated with multiparous crossbred beef cows over 4 years (240 head beginning year 1). Systems were: 1) grazing range during winter; 2) grazing subinigated meadow during winter; and 3) full feed of meadow hay during winter; in combination with either: a) full feed of subirrigated meadow hay during May, or
more » ... b) grazing subirrigated meadow during May. From June through November all cows grazed range. The feeding and grazing systems were compared with selected linear contrasts and evaluated with respect to variable input prices. Some differences ln cow body weight and body condition occurred but differences were considered small. Throughout the study, cows on all systems generally maintained a body condition score of about 5 (1 to 9 scale) year long. Inputs of hay were reduced by grazing range or subirrigated meadow during winter and during May without affecting pregnancy rate. Weaning weight of calves was increased 5.0 kg by grazing meadow during May compared to feeding hay during May. When opportunity costs were included in the analysis, the most profitable system involved grazing subirrigated meadow during winter and during May. Grazing subirrigated meadow during May enhanced the profitability of all wintering systems. MATERIALS AND METHODS
doi:10.2307/4002544 fatcat:vjdd7vkdlvdezk62ooaaqrysri