Current and Future Research

Beef Feedlot

A project will be conducted this fall on the usefulness of field peas in receiving diets for beef steers. Rapidly expanding acres of field peas justifies the use of peas in special beef rations. The digestible fiber, high protein value and palatability suggest peas may be very useful in diets of weaned calves either as the sole grain source or in combination with other grains.

Expeller crambe meal from AgGrow Oils will be compared with other oilseed meals in diets for growing and finishing steers. A companion study will be conducted at the Animal and Range Sciences Dept. comparing incrementally increasing levels of crambe meal in feedlot steer diets.

A palatability trial with crambe meal will be conducted to evaluate impact of amount and flavoring agents on preference for feeds and supplements. Crambe meal will be mixed with no flavor, "Flav-0-roma", and fenugreek as the flavoring agents. Creep fed calves, growing heifer calves, and gestating cows will be used in the test.

Fall born calves weaned in May will be fed to slaughter weight using two management system. One group of producer consigned calves will be placed directly in the feedlot and out during the summer. A second group will be grazed throughout the summer and placed on a finishing ration in September. Animal performance, carcass traits, and economics are the major variables of interest.

Beef Cow Calf

Field peas will replace part or all of more conventional creep feeds during a two year study initiated during the summer of 1997.

Swath grazing, a concept of windrowing late planted, second cut, or volunteer forages late in the fall, will be tested as a method of extending the grazing season. This method of late fall, early winter cow feeding would be more cost effective and easier than baling, hauling, and feeding hay under pen conditions and removing the manure the following year. This trial is part of a cropland pasture study being initiated to evaluate short term deliberate forage production for grazing on cropland.

A multi-year project will continue to evaluate methods of using co-product feeds for supporting beef cows and their calves under intensive management system. To date, wheat straw and wheat midds have been used successfully to support lactating beef cows.

Bison Research and Industry Development Activities

An on farm feedlot study will be conducted over the next two years to evaluate amount of forage vs grain used in feeding bison for meat. The study will evaluate animal performance, carcass traits, and economics for incremental increases in forage intake and corresponding decreases in grain intake in bison fed for meat.

The bison nutrition research facility at the Carrington Research Extension Center will be developed as resources allow. Legislative appropriation has provide funds to start construction of bison feeding pens and handling facilities. A separate animal waste/runoff project will be incorporated into this facility.

A bison library is being established at the Carrington Research Extension Center library containing as many books and scientific papers on bison production as can be procured. This material will be available to any interested persons.


1997 Beef and Bison Contents