The University of Arizona

Late summer protein supplementation for yearling cattle

E. E. Grings, R. E. Short, M. R. Haferkamp, R. K. Heitschmidt

Abstract


Three studies were conducted to evaluate late summer protein supplementation for growing steers on Northern Great Plains rangeland. In Experiment 1, crossbred yearling steers (N = 80 per year, mean initial live-weight = 275 kg) were allotted to 1 of 2 treatments replicated in 3 pastures in each of 3 years. Treatments were summer-long grazing with or without protein supplementation in late summer. Protein supplement (26% crude protein) was fed at a rate of 1.68 kg (dry matter basis) every third day. In 1995, a third treatment was added to additional pastures consisting of 1.62 kg (dry matter basis) of a 40% crude protein supplement fed every third day. There was no weight gain response to protein supplementation. In Experiment 2, yearling steers grazing rangeland from May to September were fed either no supplement, 1.5 kg of a 22% crude protein safflower meal-based supplement, 1.2 kg of 26% soybean meal-based supplement or 1.2 kg of a 26% safflower and soybean meal-based supplement every third day in late summer. Live-weight gain, forage intake, and digestibility were not affected by supplementation. A third experiment using ruminally cannulated steers fed grass hay and the 3 protein supplements based on safflower and soybean meals showed an increase in ruminal ammonia concentrations but no other appreciable change in ruminal fermentation with protein supplementation. Supplementation with as much as 648 grams of protein every third day was not a viable means to increase gains of steers grazing Northern Great Plains rangelands during late summer under the conditions of this experiment.

DOI:10.2458/azu_jrm_v57i4_grings


Keywords


grazing management; beef cattle

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