2004 Annual Report

Beef Section

Dickinson Research Extension Center
1089 State Avenue
Dickinson, ND 58601

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Calf Production from Native Range in Western North Dakota

C. Poland1, J. Walker2 and T. Patterson2

1Dickinson RE Center, North Dakota State University
2Department of Animal and Range Sciences, South Dakota State University

(Workbook contribution to "Training in sustainable livestock production systems on rangelands of the
western Dakotas." North Central Region (NCR), Sustainable Agriculture Research and
Education (SARE) Program. PDP Project ENC00-052)

General summary of calf production from three grazing strategies on native range at DREC (Table 1).

When gain is expressed per week of grazing, there is considerable difference in grazing systems (Figure1). However when gains are expressed on a seasonal basis, much of the difference in performance due to grazing strategy is explained by an overall depression in gain late in the grazing season (Figure 2). Extended grazing into the fall at the expense of early summer grazing reduces overall gain. Nonetheless, rotational grazing produced higher ADG later in the season compared to seasonlong systems.

References

Manske, L.L., M.E. Biondini, C.Y. Oseto, J.E. Struble, D.O. Erichson, P.J. Sjursen, T.J. Conlon, J.L. Nelson, D.G. Landblom and D.R. Kirby. 1988a. Complementary rotation grazing system in western North Dakota. 38th Livestock Research Roundup. Dxn R/E Center, NDSU pp1-4.

Manske L.L., M.E. Biondini, D.R. Kirby, J.L.Nelson, D.G. Landblom and P.J. Sjrusen. 1988b. Cow and calf performance on seasonlong and twice over rotation grazing treatments in western North Dakota. ND Cow/Calf Conference. NDSU pp5-17.

Barker, W.T., K.K. Sedivec and P.E. Nyren. 1991. Four pasture, twice-over grazing in southcentral North Dakota. Proceedings of North Dakota Cow/Calf Confernece. pp 62-76.

Kirby, D.R., T.J. Conlin and K.D. Krabbenhoft. 1991. A short duration grazing experience in western North Dakota. Proceedings of North Dakota Cow/Calf Conference. pp 46-53.

Lewis, J.K., G.M. Van Dyne, L.R. Albee and F.W. Whetzal. 1956. Intensity of grazing, its effect on livestock and forage production. Agric. Exp. Station, South Dakota State University. Bull. 459.

Patton, B,, P. Nyren, B. Kreft, J. Caton and A. Nyren, 2000. Grazing intensity research on Coteau rangelands. Central Grasslands Research Center, North Dakota State University. (http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/ streeter/2000report/grazing_intensity.htm; May 11, 2001)

 

Table 1. Comparisons of calf production from three grazing strategies on native range at Dickinson R/E Center.
Grazing Strategy
Dataset 6.0 m
Seasonlong (6.0SL)
4.5 m
Seasonlong (4.5SL)
4.5 m
Rotational (4.5RT)
1983-1987a timeb
-

18Jun - 30Oct

01Jun - 17Oct

Stocking ratec ac/COWMd
-
2.08
2.01
Calf gain lb/d
-
2.14x
2.21x
seasonal lb/ac
-
24.2x
28.4x
1984-1987, 1989e time
-
-
-
Stocking rate ac/AU
-
8.2
8.5
Calf gainf lb/d
-

no difference in seasonal average daily gains

- early
- late
2.6y
2.0x
2.2x
2.5y
1990g time
-

mid Jun - late Octh

01Jun - 15Octh

Stocking rate ac/COWM
-
1.77
2.27
Calf gain lb/d
-
2.54
2.60
seasonal lb/ac
-
25.4
26.7
Unknowni time

15May - 15Nov

18Jun - 30Oct

01Jun - 15Oct

Stocking rate ac/AUM
4.04
2.86
2.04
Calf gain lb/d
1.80
2.09x
2.21x
seasonal lb/ac
13.6
20.5x
28.5y
1998-2000j
15May - 15Nov
01Jun - 15Oct
01Jun - 15Oct
Stocking rate ac/AUM
2.22
2.22
2.27
Calf gain lb/d
2.39
2.60
2.75
seasonal lb/ac
32.3
35.0
33.1

a Data taken from two sources: (1) Manske et al., 1988. 38th Livestock Research Roundup. Dxn R/E Center, NDSU pp1-4 and (2) Manske et al. 1988. ND Cow/Calf Conference. NDSU pp5-17.

b Anticipated grazing periods.

c Anticipated stocking rate assuming desired length of grazing period is achieved.

d AUM and COWM refer to an animal unit (AU) month and a cow month, respectively. An AU is assumed to be equivalent to a 1000-lb cow and accompanying calf. An animal unit month is roughly the amount of forage consumed by one AU in one month. A cow unit is used when standardized units are not reported in original source. Note that extrapolating animal unit capacity to seasonal calf production may be confusing due to differences between actual and standardized cow size.

e Biondini, M.E. and L. Manske. 1996. Ecol. Appl. 6(1):239-256.

f No difference in calf mass gains between treatments or among years.

g Manske et al. http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/dickinso/research/1990/rpt8.htm.

h Drought conditions shortened actual grazing season to 20Jun-10Sep and 04Jun-17Sep for seasonlong and rotational grazing strategies, respecitively.

i Data taken from three sources:

(1) Manske, L.L. http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/dickinso/research/1994/grass94b.htm,

(2) Manske, L.L. http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/dickinso/research/1995/grass95e.htm. and

(3) Manske, L.L. and K.K. Sedivec. http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/dickinso/research/1999grass99h.htm..

j Data taken from L.L. Manske http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/dickinso/research/2000/range00g.htm.

x,y Means within a row with differing superscripts differ (P < .05).

Figure 1. Effect of grazing week on suckling beef calves in three different grazing systems (Manske et al., 1988a,b).

Figure 2. Effect of grazing date on suckling beef calves in three different grazing systems (Manske et al., 1988a,b).

 

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