Taking Advantage Of Standing Grass Supplies
There’s no doubt that it is almost always more economical to let a cow harvest her own forages, instead of doing it with haying and feeding equipment. That’s why many producers plant annual forage crops, such as rye grass, to extend the grazing season.
This year, some localized weather patterns have led to an abundance of late summer grass still standing in pastures. Granted, much of this feed is low quality, with low crude protein and high fiber. But if this standing grass could be effectively utilized by the cowherd, additional savings — in labor, ryegrass seed, and other planting inputs — could be seen in overall feeding costs.
The key to effective utilization of low-quality forages is a well-designed supplementation program. A relatively small amount, say 1 to 2 pounds, of a feed high in degradable crude protein can stimulate tremendous increases in forage intake, as well as digestibility. The net result is a significantly increased supply of all nutrients (protein, energy, minerals) from the grass or hay itself.