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Feed & Nutrition

Learn about all aspects of cattle nutrition from harvest and storage to balancing rations with forage, byproducts and supplements.

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Wanted: One young female bovine that can produce a heavy weaned calf, can rebreed within 80 days of calving, can maintain a body condition score of 5 or more on minimal feed, is easy to handle and stays in all the fences.

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When traditional feeds are in short supply or expensive, there are some non-traditional feeds that can be used, according to David Bohnert, a beef extension specialist and ruminant nutritionist at Oregon State University (Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center at Burns, Oregon).

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Feed costs have been in an increasing pattern since 2007. The cattle industry has been slowly adapting to these new economics.

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Concerned with forage quality, particularly over late-made first cutting hay, an Ohio State University Extension specialist said farmers need to diligently manage livestock nutrition needs this fall and winter.

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High supplemental feed costs, and in some areas persistent drought, should motivate producers to evaluate their feed resources and management plans heading into the fall and winter months.

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An inexpensive hay test can offer the best guidance as to how much supplemental feed is required for a beef cattle herd, and at the same time, save ranchers money, according to a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.

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