Supplementation of yearling steers grazing Northern Great Plains rangelands.

Karn, J.F.
Rangeland Ecology & Management / Journal of Range Management Archives
Publication Year: 
Growing yearling steers on summer rangelands as part of a cow-calf-yearling operation would allow producers to maximize forage utilization, and selling yearling steers when forage was in short supply would minimize potential genetic losses in the cow herd. A series of summer supplementation and intake studies were conducted from 1988-1992 to determine if weight gains of grazing yearling steers could be increased by supplemental energy (ground barley), phosphorus (P), or crude protein. Studies were conducted at 2 locations on pastures of approximately 51 ha each, which contained quite different mixtures of forage species. Forage P, crude protein and IVDOM levels were monitored throughout the grazing season. Supplementation results varied among years and between locations. There were significant (P < 0.14) location by treatment interactions in 1989 and 1990 because steers at the WEST location tended to respond more to supplementation than steers at the EAST location, but EAST location steers had the highest rates of gain. Providing supplements at gradually increasing rates produced results comparable to supplementing at a constant rate all summer. Supplemental crude protein showed no significant benefit, but crude protein levels in pasture forage were generally above steer requirements. Weight gains averaged over all 5 years were greater (P < 0.05) for steers supplemented with barley or barley and P, compared to unsupplemented control steers. The response to supplementation should be beneficial most years, but results may vary with the quantity and quality of available forage.DOI:10.2458/azu_jrm_v53i2_karn
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)