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Baleage for Maximizing Hay Quality Videoconference

Workshop on Baleage for Maximizing Hay Quality to be held on Tuesday, March 3 Balesfrom 1 to 3 p.m. at CGREC.

During this videoconference, Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin Extension Forage Specialist, will discuss using baleage for creating a high quality fermented hay product for the beef industry. The method of baleage can be utilized during wet weather haying when hay quality is often compromised. Dr. Undersander will also talk about using preservatives, including types, application rates and methods, and cost effectiveness.

The event is free of charge. To register, contact Fara Brummer at (701) 424-3606  fara.brummer@ndsu.edu

The videoconference is being held the same time at the Carrington Research Extension Center and North Central Research Extension Center near Minot.

For a flyer for this event, click here.


Impacts of Beef Cattle Management During Breeding

Feature article from the Central Grasslands Forum - Fall 2014 edition.

Danielle Black, Graduate Student, NDSU Department of Animal Sciences

Carl Dahlen, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, NDSU Department of Animal Sciences

Implementation of an estrous synchronization and fixed-time artificial insemination (AI) protocol for breeding cattle requires them to be handled at least three times within an eight- to 10-day period. If mature cows are managed in an extensive grazing system, significant time and labor is required to gather and sort pairs. Our question is: Would removing the cows and heifers from summer pasture to a drylot for the AI process impact their calf performance? 

With this in mind, we compared two groups of cattle at the CGREC. One group contained cow-calf pairs that were removed from their summer pasture for the duration of the AI process and were managed in drylots with a diet of last year's hay. The other group continued to graze in the pasture and were gathered and worked in the drylot at each step of the AI process, then returned to pasture after each step was complete.


During this study, we monitored body weights of the cows and calves and conception rates of the cows, and collected blood samples for evaluation of non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations. Comparing NEFA concentrations before and after the process can give us an indication if the animals were supplied enough energy through their diet. NEFA concentrations increase in the blood when the body begins using fat reserves for energy.

From this year's data, cows and calves managed in the drylot had reduced weight gain during the 10-day synchonization window, compared with cows managed in summer pastures. Calf weights on day 35 after breeding still were reduced in the calves that were managed in the drylot, compared to those managed on pasture.

With regards to conception rates, no differences were detected so far between cows managed in a drylot and cows managed on pastures.

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