Nutrition Plan

            Our goal is to feed as little harvested forages as possible and still maintain cows in Body Condition Score (BCS) 5. The cows are wintered on crop residue and stock piled winter range with protein supplementation during the last trimester. We calve the cows on fields of annual rye in May. 

      This year, because of the drought, we will be feeding them a mixed ration based on oat-pea silage because we had to reduce our stocking rate and cannot graze as late in the winter. The bred heifers and two year olds will be wintered together on cornstalks and supplemented with 2 pounds of DDG daily. They will be fed a mixed ration for the last two months of pregnancy.

The heifer calves are wintered on corn stalks with 1# of dried distiller’s grain (DDG) per head per day. They are then turned onto rye in early May.

            Steers are being backgrounded on forage cocktails until they run out, probably in early January or until the snow gets too deep. They will then go into the lot to be back grounded until the end of April, shooting for 2 pounds of gain a day.

DROUGHT MANAGEMENT PLAN

                During the severe drought of 2012 and 2013, we were able to reduce the stocking rate on our native pastures by diverting some of our irrigated crops to forage production. We utilized dry land forage crops in 2013 and 2014 to feed the cattle during the growing season and push more of the native pasture utilization into the dormant season. This plan allowed our pastures to recover from the drought with increased vigor and productivity. Continued range resiliency is promoted with the deferred range rotation system that we follow. We have nearly completed an Equip grant to further subdivide our native pastures so that they are only grazed for two weeks during the growing season.

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