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Research Reveals New Beef Profit Opportunities

Research Reveals New Beef Profit Opportunities
Feeding and breeding studies point to ways to make more money.

There are a few ideas in the latest North Dakota State University beef research that might be help you make more money.

In a project comparing lactating beef cows fed a diet of corn stover and distillers grain with cows fed corn silage, wheat middlings, barley hulls and straw, researchers at the Carrington Research Extension Center found that calves of cows on the stover-distillers grain diet gained 2.73 pounds per day during the 92-day study while calves of cows fed the other diet gained 2.57 pounds per day.

Cattle make good use of cheap feeds in a research trial.

The decrease in cows' condition score during the summer feeding period was nearly identical (1.1 for cattle on the stover-distillers grain diet vs. 1 for cows on the other diet). The daily ration cost for the stover-distillers grain diet was $1.71, compared with $2.22 for the other diet.

"Our past research indicates beef cows are capable of using a wide variety of feeds, including crop residues (corn, wheat, pea, barley, straw, regrowth or cover crops) when properly supplemented," says Vern Anderson, NDSU animal scientist. "This study indicates diets formulated with corn stover and nutrient-dense supplements such as distillers grain can be very successful in supporting excellent growth and performance in the cow and her calf."

Heavier calves
In a cattle breeding study, researchers from the NDSU Animal Sciences Department and Hettinger and Central Grasslands Research Extension Centers found that:

•About the same number of cows exposed to estrous synchronization (ES) and artificial insemination (AI) became pregnant during the breeding season as cows mated with bulls.

•Cows in the breeding system with ES and AI gave birth earlier in the caving season than cows mated with bulls.

•Calves conceived through AI during the first 21 days of the calving season were 19.4 pounds heavier at weaning than the calves of cows mated with bulls.

For more information, see "NDSU beef diet, breeding research uncovers savings" on page 66 of the Feb. issue of Dakota Farmer. The article is available online. Also see NDSU's beef research report.

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