Nutrition Plan

       Our goal is to feed as little harvested forages as possible and still maintain cows in Body Condition Score (BCS) 5. 2020 was such an extreme drought that we shifted a half pivot of corn to corn-silage. We Have a rest-rotation grazing plan, and had hoped to be able to defer most of our native range to a dormant season only grazing plan, relying instead on mob grazing annual forages on our dryland. However, because of the drought, those crops did not prosper We had no choice but to graze our native range in the summer, rotating cattle through them quickly. We took only half as much off our pastures as normal and did not go back to them in the dormant season. That necessitated feeding the cows post weaning in a dry lot situation, limiting their intake until corn residue was available. We will have to the same for the last 60 days before calving, when they will go the rye grown on the pivots. Normally we have an eleven-month grazing season, but it has to rain for that to be possible.

       The heifer calves will spend the winter on corn residue, with one pound of DDG/per day. They will go to CRP in April, so hopefully will receive little harvested forage. They will be bred on pasture.
       Unless, the weather changes significantly, we will run the drought plan just outlined in 2021 as well.

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