Cattle farmers can learn about the latest research findings at the Orr Beef Research Center field day near Perry, Nov. 5.
Dan Shike, University of Illinois animal science associate professor, will provide information on the influence of bypass proteins on creep feed diets and the effect of injectable vitamin C on newly-weaned calves. The event will also feature results of extended dry-lot housing of beef cows.
Travis Meteer, U of I Extension commercial ag educator, will discuss least-cost ration options for beef cattle at the open house.
Registration is required and spaces are limited for the open house. Participants are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing. To register or request accommodations, contact Meteer at 217-430-7030.
Meteer recently discussed fall feeding options during an interview with the RFD Radio Network. He points to cornstalks as a great resource.
“The first thing I think of (during harvest) is we need to get cows out grazing cornstalks,” Meteer said.
“We’ve fallen into a pretty dry pattern, so there’s maybe not the stockpiled pastures we were hoping for and forage for some cattle producers may be getting limited,” he noted. “Cornstalks (provide an opportunity) to get cows on another source of forage.”
Farmers who have to ability to graze cattle on cornstalks should open the gates rather than bale it, according to the Extension specialist.
However, bales make a good option for farmers who want to use the stalks for bedding and a feed source.
“Grazing is the best way to harvest them,” Meteer said. “The cows will choose the more palatable parts of the plant, and those parts are also the most nutritious.”
Cows generally graze about 50% of the leaf and husk from a field of stalks.
So, in fields that average about 200 bushels per acre, about 2,800 pounds of leaves and husk per acre should be available for cows. About two-thirds of an acre will provide sufficient feed for a 1,300-pound cow for about 30 days.
Farmers who want to graze cows longer than that should budget an acre or two of cornstalks per 1,300-pound cow.
Cornstalks also make a good filler to blend with co-products and hay.
“We’ve had one of the best haymaking seasons in recent memory. That’s encouraging,” Meteer said. “One of the big things to focus on is limiting (hay) waste.”
Meteer also helped plan another round of Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program certification meetings, which will be held Dec. 2-3 and 8-10 at sale barns around the state. Visit the website for more information on the sessions or to complete the BQA training online.