Advertisement

Long-term evaluation of bale grazing as a winter-feeding system for beef cattle in central North Dakota

      ABSTRACT

      Objective

      A 4-yr study was conducted to evaluate bale grazing as a winter-feeding system under central North Dakota winter conditions.

      Materials and Methods

      Two winter-feeding systems, bale grazing (BG) paddocks or dry lot (DL) pen feeding, were compared over 4 winters using nonlactating pregnant Angus cows (2016/2017, n = 32, average BW = 590 ± 69 kg; 2017/2018, n = 40, 609 ± 61 kg; 2018/2019, n = 40, 635 ± 49 kg; 2019/2020, n = 40, 620 ± 31 kg). Cows in each winter-feeding system were offered the same hay. Cow performance was assessed from BW and BCS taken at the start and end of the study.

      Results and Discussion

      Environmental conditions varied widely during the 4-yr study period. Dry matter intake averaged 11.9 kg/d and was not affected (P = 0.66) by winter-feeding system. Cows in both winter-feeding systems lost weight but ADG was greater (P = 0.02) in BG cows (−0.11 kg/d) relative to DL cows (−0.23 kg/d). Similarly, BCS loss was greater (P = 0.01) in DL cows (−0.21) relative to BG cows (−0.08). System costs were lower ($1.75/cow per day) following BG relative to DL pen feeding ($2.12/cow per day).

      Implications and Applications

      Results of this study suggest that bale grazing is a viable system for winter-feeding beef cattle in North Dakota. Greater animal performance during bale grazing coupled with the lower cost of bale grazing could improve profitability of a beef cow-calf production operation.

      Key words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      LITERATURE CITED

      1. Adams, R. S. 1995. Dairy nutrition. Pages 108–109 in Dairy Reference Manual. 3rd ed. C. Walker, ed. Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service.

        • Alemu A.W.
        • Doce R.R.
        • Dick A.C.
        • Basarab J.A.
        • Kröbel R.
        • Haugen-Kozyra K.
        • Baron V.S.
        Effect of winter feeding systems on farm greenhouse gas emissions..
        https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2016.06.008
        Agric. Syst. 2016; 148: 28-37
        • Asem-Hiablie S.
        • Rotz C.A.
        • Stout R.
        • Stackhouse-Lawson K.
        Management characteristics of beef cattle production in the Northern Plains and Midwest regions of the United States..
        https://doi.org/10.15232/pas.2016-01539
        Prof. Anim. Sci. 2016; 32: 736-749
      2. AOAC International. 2005. Official Methods of Analysis. AOAC International.

        • Baron V.S.
        • Doce R.R.
        • Basarab J.
        • Dick C.
        Swath-grazing triticale and corn compared to barley and a traditional winter-feeding method in central Alberta..
        https://doi.org/10.4141/cjps2013-412
        Can. J. Plant Sci. 2014; 94: 1125-1137
        • Bernier J.N.
        • Undi M.
        • Ominski K.H.
        • Donohoe G.
        • Tenuta M.
        • Flaten D.
        • Plaizier J.C.
        • Wittenberg K.M.
        Nitrogen and phosphorus utilization and excretion by beef cows fed a low-quality forage diet supplemented with dried distillers’ grains with solubles under thermal neutral and prolonged cold conditions..
        https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2014.03.010
        Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 2014; 193: 9-20
        • Brosh A.
        • Aharoni Y.
        • Degen A.A.
        • Wright D.
        • Young B.
        Estimation of energy expenditure from heart rate measurements in cattle maintained under different conditions..
        https://doi.org/10.2527/1998.76123054x
        9928610
        J. Anim. Sci. 1998; 76: 3054-3064
        • Brosh A.
        • Aharoni Y.
        • Shargal E.
        • Sharir B.
        • Gutman M.
        • Choshniak I.
        Energy balance of grazing beef cattle in Mediterranean pasture, the effects of stocking rate and season: 2. Energy expenditure as estimated from heart rate and oxygen consumption, and energy balance..
        https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livprodsci.2004.03.008
        Livest. Prod. Sci. 2004; 90: 101-115
      3. Burns, J. C., K. R. Pond, and D. S. Fisher. 1994. Measurement of forage intake. Pages 494–532 in Forage Quality, Evaluation, and Utilization. G. C. Fahey, ed. American Society of Agronomy; Crop Science Society of America; Soil Science Society of America.

        • Cline H.J.
        • Neville B.W.
        • Lardy G.P.
        • Caton J.S.
        Influence of advancing season on dietary composition, intake, site of digestion, and microbial efficiency in beef steers grazing a native range in western North Dakota..
        https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2007-0833
        18791151
        J. Anim. Sci. 2009; 87: 375-383
        • Cline H.J.
        • Neville B.W.
        • Lardy G.P.
        • Caton J.S.
        Influence of advancing season on dietary composition, intake, site of digestion, and microbial efficiency in beef steers grazing season-long or twice-over rotation native range pastures in western North Dakota..
        https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2009-2658
        20418453
        J. Anim. Sci. 2010; 88: 2812-2824
        • D’Souza G.E.
        • Maxwell E.W.
        • Bryan W.B.
        • Prigge E.C.
        Economic impacts of extended grazing systems..
        https://doi.org/10.1017/S0889189300003428
        Am. J. Altern. Agric. 1990; 5: 120-125
        • Degen A.A.
        • Young B.A.
        Average daily gain and water intake in growing beef calves offered snow as a water source..
        https://doi.org/10.4141/cjas90-085
        Can. J. Anim. Sci. 1990; 70 (a): 711-714
        • Degen A.A.
        • Young B.A.
        The performance of pregnant beef cows relying on snow as a water source..
        https://doi.org/10.4141/cjas90-062
        Can. J. Anim. Sci. 1990; 70 (b): 507-515
        • DeVries T.J.
        • von Keyserlingk M.A.G.
        Competition for feed affects the feeding behavior of growing dairy heifers..
        https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-1934
        19620675
        J. Dairy Sci. 2009; 92: 3922-3929
        • Drewnoski M.E.
        • Oliphant E.J.
        • Marshall B.T.
        • Poore M.H.
        • Green J.T.
        • Hockett M.E.
        Performance of growing cattle grazing stockpiled Jesup tall fescue with varying endophyte status..
        https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2008-0977
        19028859
        J. Anim. Sci. 2009; 87: 1034-1041
      4. Enz, J. W. 2003. North Dakota topographic, climatic, and agricultural overview. Accessed May 21, 2020. https://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/ndsco/documents/ndclimate.pdf.

        • Funston R.N.
        • Larson D.M.
        Heifer development systems: Dry-lot feeding compared with grazing dormant winter forage..
        https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2010-3095
        21521820
        J. Anim. Sci. 2011; 89: 1595-1602
        • Havstad K.M.
        • Malechek J.C.
        Energy expenditure by heifers grazing crested wheatgrass of diminishing availability..
        https://doi.org/10.2307/3898602
        J. Range Manage. 1982; 35: 447-450
        • Hennessy D.
        • Kennedy E.
        Extending the grazing season..
        https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-3870.2009.tb00233.x
        Livestock (Lond). 2009; 14: 27-31
        • Hetti Arachchige A.D.
        • Fisher A.D.
        • Wales W.J.
        • Auldist M.J.
        • Hannah M.C.
        • Jongman E.C.
        Space allowance and barriers influence cow competition for mixed rations fed on a feed-pad between bouts of grazing..
        https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2013-7553
        24746131
        J. Dairy Sci. 2014; 97: 3578-3588
        • Johnson J.A.
        • Caton J.S.
        • Poland W.
        • Kirby D.R.
        • Dhuyvetter D.V.
        Influence of season in dietary composition, intake, and digestion by beef steers grazing mixed-grass prairie in the northern Great Plains..
        https://doi.org/10.2527/1998.7661682x
        9655589
        J. Anim. Sci. 1998; 76: 1682-1690
        • Jose D.
        • Larson K.
        • McKinnon J.J.
        • Penner G.B.
        • Damiran D.
        • Lardner H.A.
        Effects of winter-feeding system on beef cow performance, ruminal fermentation and system costs..
        https://doi.org/10.15232/aas.2020-01983
        Appl. Anim. Sci. 2020; 36: 731-744
        • Jungnitsch P.
        • Schoenau J.J.
        • Lardner H.A.
        • Jefferson P.G.
        Winter feeding beef cattle on the western Canadian prairies: Impacts on soil nitrogen and phosphorous cycling and forage growth..
        https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2011.02.024
        Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 2011; 141: 143-152
        • Kelln B.
        • Lardner H.
        • Schoenau J.
        • King T.
        Effects of beef cow winter feeding systems, pen manure and compost on soil nitrogen and phosphorous amounts and distribution, soil density, and crop biomass..
        https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-011-9480-y
        Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosyst. 2012; 92: 183-194
        • Kelln B.M.
        • Lardner H.A.
        • McKinnon J.J.
        • Campbell J.R.
        • Larson K.
        • Damiran D.
        Effect of winter-feeding system on beef cow performance, reproductive efficiency, and system cost..
        https://doi.org/10.15232/S1080-7446(15)30513-1
        Prof. Anim. Sci. 2011; 27: 410-421
        • Lardner H.B.
        • Larson K.
        • Christensen D.A.
        • McKinnon J.J.
        • Añez-Osuna F.
        • Damiran D.
        • Simili da Silva M.
        • Clark L.P.
        Performance of stocker cattle grazing bales in winter and supplemented with wheat-based dried distillers’ grains plus solubles or barley grain in western Canada..
        https://doi.org/10.15232/pas.2018-01723
        Prof. Anim. Sci. 2018; 34: 460-468
      5. Lardy, G. P. 2018. Cow-calf producer’s guide to custom feeding. North Dakota State University Extension. Accessed Sep. 13, 2021. https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/a-cow-calf-producers-guide-to-custom-feeding.

      6. Lardy, G. P., V. L. Anderson, and S. L. Boyles. 2017. Dry lot beef cow-calf production. North Dakota State University, North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Accessed Sep. 13, 2021. file:///C:/Users/michael.undi/Downloads/as974%20(5).pdf.

      7. NASEM (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine). 2016. Nutrient Requirement of Beef Cattle. 8th rev. ed. National Academy Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/19014.

      8. NDAWN (North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network). 2021. NDAWN Center. Accessed May 15, 2021. https://ndawn.ndsu.nodak.edu/.

      9. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). 2021. National Centers for Environmental Information. Accessed Jun. 22, 2021. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datasets/GHCND/stations/GHCND:USC00328415/detail.

      10. North Dakota Department of Trust Lands. 2021. County rents and prices—North Dakota. Accessed Sep. 21, 2021. https://www.land.nd.gov/resources/north-dakota-county-rents-prices-annual-survey.

        • Olson B.E.
        • Wallander R.T.
        Influence of winter weather and shelter on activity patterns of beef cows..
        https://doi.org/10.4141/A01-070
        Can. J. Anim. Sci. 2002; 82: 491-501
        • Osuji P.O.
        The physiology of eating and the energy expenditure of the ruminant at pasture..
        https://doi.org/10.2307/3896717
        J. Range Manage. 1974; 27: 437-443
        • Poore M.H.
        • Drewnoski M.E.
        Utilization of stockpiled tall fescue in winter grazing systems for beef cattle..
        https://doi.org/10.15232/S1080-7446(15)30573-8
        Prof. Anim. Sci. 2010; 26: 142-149
      11. Rasby, R. J., A. Stalker, and R. N. Funston. 2014. Body Condition Scoring Beef Cows: A Tool for Managing the Nutrition Program for Beef Herds. University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. Accessed Feb. 3, 2018. https://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/ec281.pdf.

      12. Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. 2008. Bale grazing and the bale grazing calculator. Accessed Aug. 17, 2020. https://www.agrireseau.net/bovinsboucherie/documents/adxGetMedia%20.pdf.

      13. Ungar, E. D. 1996. Ingestive behaviour. Pages 185–218 in The Ecology and Management of Grazing Systems. J. Hodgson and A. W. Illius, ed. CABI International.

      14. USDA-NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service). 2021. Soil web survey. 2021. Accessed Apr. 15, 2020. https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm.

        • Volesky J.D.
        • Adams D.C.
        • Clark R.T.
        Windrow grazing and baled-hay feeding strategies for wintering calves..
        https://doi.org/10.2307/4003259
        J. Range Manage. 2002; 55: 23-32
        • Webster A.J.F.
        Direct effects of cold weather on the energetic efficiency of beef production in different regions of Canada..
        https://doi.org/10.4141/cjas70-077
        Can. J. Anim. Sci. 1970; 50: 563-573
        • Zobel G.
        • Schwartzkopf-Genswein K.S.
        • Genswein B.M.A.
        • von Keyserlingk M.A.G.
        Impact of agonistic interactions on feeding behaviors when beef heifers are fed in a competitive feeding environment..
        https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2010.09.022
        Livest. Sci. 2011; 137: 1-9