Alternative approaches to feeding and managing herds


Alternative approaches to feeding and managing herds

An extension beef specialist says with rising input prices cattle producers should strongly consider extending their grazing season.

Purdue University’s Ron Lemenager says anytime equipment can be taken out between where the forage is being produced and consumed is a positive.  “Producers should look at things like cover crops and stockpile grazing or using crop residues like corn stalks,” he says. 

He tells Brownfield with the potential for a drier summer, producers will need to develop a grazing strategy that helps with carrying capacity.  “It may be a matter of putting up temporary fences in some of our bigger pastures so we can rotationally graze and allow those forages to recover a little bit,” he says. 

He uses the drought of 2012 as an example. “A lot of my neighbors and cattle producers in the state of Indiana were feeding hay because of the drought,” he says.  “I never had to feed a bale of hay because we were on an 8-cell rotation grazing and we were able to skimp through it.  So it’s a way to help extend your resources.”

Lemenager presented at the recent Forage Expo and Illinois Beef Association Summer Conference.

AUDIO: Ron Lemenager, Purdue University