Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211

advertisements
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Agricultural News


Take steps to Maximize Available Hay in Cattle Operations

Tue, 16 Feb 2021 07:56:50 CST

Take steps to Maximize Available Hay in Cattle Operations - Cattle producers are only halfway through the hay feeding season, so it’s a good time to double-check they’re not wasting that precious resource, said experts with Oklahoma State University’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences

“Management of input costs can mean the difference between operational profit or loss,” said David Lalman, OSU Extension beef cattle specialist and holder of the university’s Harrington Endowed Chair in Animal Science. “Costs associated with nutrition have been shown to contribute 40% to 60% of the annual budget of a typical cow-calf operation. When it comes to hay waste, using the right type of bale feeder can make a significant cost-savings difference.”

A 2011 study by Lalman and other scientists with OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources examined four bale feeder designs: a conventional open-bottom steel ring, a sheeted-bottom steel ring, a polyethylene pipe ring and a modified cone feeder with a sheeted bottom. Hay waste was the lowest for the cone feeder, while the polyethylene feeder and the open-bottom steel ring feeder had the highest percentage of waste - 5.3% compared with 21% and 20.5%, respectively. The sheeted-bottom feeder had an intermediate waste level of 13%.

Producers may choose to simply unroll hay bales and let cattle graze on the ground. Many operations use a bale bed or a tractor with a hay unroller to make windrows of hay bales during the winter. There are several issues with unrolling hay, not the least of which is hay waste if cattle are fed several days’ worth of hay at a time - often 25% to 50% waste.

When unrolling hay, OSU Extension recommendations are to feed only as much hay as the cattle will clean up each day. Larger amounts fed every third day or longer will lead to more waste.

Another challenge with unrolling hay is that producers often will have favorite hay feeding areas based primarily on convenient access.

“Continuing to feed hay in the same place can lead to the concentration of a lot of nutrients from the hay and from animal manure and urine, all in a relatively small area,” said Paul Beck, OSU Extension beef cattle specialist and holder of the university’s Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair in Animal Science.

Various research trials indicate there can be 10 to 20 times more phosphorus, potassium and organic matter in those types of hay feeding areas than in the surrounding pasture. Rotating hay feeding areas and unrolling hay across a pasture throughout the winter months will help spread out the nutrients.

In addition, cows like to calve and then bring their calves to their favorite hay feeding site. Poor hygiene in those areas during calving can lead to health issues such as scours and navel ill in calves.

Fact sheets detailing research-based best management practices for cattle and calves are available online and through OSU Extension county offices .

Oklahoma is annually the nation’s fourth- or fifth-leading producer of cattle and calves, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service data.


   

 

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI

 


Top Agricultural News

  • Don't Miss the Made In Oklahoma Store at the Oklahoma State Fair  Sat, 18 Sep 2021 05:06:39 CDT
  • NASDA Announces Ted McKinney as Chief Executive Officer  Fri, 17 Sep 2021 16:39:09 CDT
  • Congressman Frank Lucas Cosponsors Resolution Supporting Voluntary, Locally-Led Conservation  Fri, 17 Sep 2021 15:44:48 CDT
  • PCCA Announces Year-End Cash Distributions of More Than $21 Million to Grower-Owners  Fri, 17 Sep 2021 15:40:34 CDT
  • NCBA Confident in U.S. Cattle Record, Urges Open Dialogue on Methane Target  Fri, 17 Sep 2021 15:37:06 CDT
  • USDA Announces United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board Appointments  Fri, 17 Sep 2021 15:34:34 CDT
  • At Texas Tech Researchers Develop Interactive Virtual Tours to Bring Food and Ag Sciences to Students  Fri, 17 Sep 2021 15:31:12 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2 p.m. Friday, September 17, 2021  Fri, 17 Sep 2021 15:26:23 CDT

  • More Headlines...

       

    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Beef council Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment Tulsa Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.

       
       

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2021 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.