The third and final year of the "Dakota Finishers" project (North Dakota - Kansas feeding comparison) will be conducted this coming fall and winter provided enough producers are willing to consign calves and retain ownership. The third year is important for statistical confidence and to sample as many different winters as possible. A progress report appears in this publication.
North Dakota has an abundance of alternative feed. Approximately 500 tons of wheat midds are produce in the state each day. With high grain prices, more extensive studies need to be made using alternative feeds at larger percentages of cattle rations. Wheat midds will be used in finishing diets at 0, 20, 40 and 60% of the concentrate. Corn will be the alternative grain source. This study is underway and will be completed early in the fall of 1996.
Alternative feeds for first calf heifers will be compared during the summer lactation period. Wheat straw and wheat midds are both by-products of North Dakota wheat production. Using these as major ingredients to support beef cow-calf production may allow increased cow numbers in the state to support the development of feedlots and the potential packing industry.
Crambe meal will be available at increasing amounts in the near future. Its usefulness as a protein source in gestating and lactating beef cow diets and its impact on reproduction of beef cows will be reported.
Plans have been developed to establish a bison nutrition research program on the station. This project would be funded by grants, appropriated funds, and producer participation. A separate bison research facility will be needed as the beef project will continue to occupy the facilities in place.