Forb and shrub influences on steer nitrogen retention.

Arthun, D.
Holechek, J.L.
Wallace, J.D.
Galyean, M.L.
Cardenas, M.
Rafique, S.
Rangeland Ecology & Management / Journal of Range Management Archives
Publication Year: 
Two experiments with steers were conducted to evaluate the influence of native forbs and shrubs on nitrogen utilization by cattle. Diets in Exp. 1 were blue grams (Bouteloua gracilis [H.B.K.])(BG), BG plus 23% alfalfa (Medicago sativa) hay (ALF), BG plus 42% forbs and BG plus 41% shrubs. Diets in Exp. 2 included barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) straw, and straw plus either 42% ALF, 63% forbs, or 62% shrubs. Forbs used in our study were scarlet globemallow (Sphaeralcea coccinea Nutt.) and leatherleaf croton (Croton pottsii Lam.). Shrubs included fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens [Pursh.]) and mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus Raf.) Forb and shrub mixtures were 50:50 of each species. Blue grams and straw basal diets contained 7.6 and 3.5% CP, respectively. Diets containing ALF, forbs, and shrubs were isonitrogenous (10.5% CP) in both experiments. In Exp. 1, no differences (P>.10) were observed among treatments for N retention (g/d). In Exp. 2, N retention was least (P.05), and intermediate for the forb diet. Inclusion of forbs or shrubs with low-quality forage diets was, in most instances, comparable to inclusion of ALF. Our results indicate that maintaining palatable forbs and shrubs on rangelands should reduce the need to supply cattle with protein during periods when grasses are dormant.
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Society for Range Management

Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management) serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, ecology, and use of rangelands and their resources. The journal is peer-reviewed and provides international exchange of scholarly research and information among persons interested in rangelands. The Global Rangelands collection includes REM content up to 5 years from the current year. More recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management, and may be available at your local university library.
(Become a SRM member)