Western Research and Demonstration Farm

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Previously we reported on a study that demonstrated that fall-born steer calves pastured on bromegrass for either portions of or all of the grazing season and then finished in drylot, significantly outperformed calves placed directly into the feedlot in terms of profit/head at harvest time. Areas consisting of highly productive soils, interdispersed with highly erodable land, are well suited for this kind of production practice and in turn production systems of this nature are quite consistent with the concepts of sustainable agriculture. In an effort to capture more grazing potential, it was decided to incorporate warm-season grasses into the pasture program so that forage production would be enhanced during the hot summer months of July and August when cool-season grasses normally become nearly dormant. Therefore, the objective of this multi-year study is to compare steer calves provided a combination of cool- and warm-season grass pastures with calves provided cool-season grass pastures only and followed by all calves being finished in drylot.

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Iowa State University



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