Submitted to: Crop Science Society Of America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 19, 2003
Publication Date: November 3, 2003
Citation: Aiken, G.E., Looper, M.L. 2003. Strategic Suppliementation to Meet Digestible Energy Needs of Yearling Cattle Grazing Bermudagrass. Crop Science Society Of America. Technical Abstract: Bermudagrass [Cynodondactylon (L.) Pers.] is widely managed as grazed forage throughout the southeast USA, but cattle weight gain on the grass typically declines in the middle to late summer. This summer slump in animal performance has been associated with a reduction in digestible energy. Variable stocking rates were used for a 2-year grazing experiment with bermudagrass that compared steer performance and pasture carrying capacity between supplementation with ground corn (consumption rate = 0.91 kg d^-1) for the entire grazing season (112 d), supplementation in the late grazing season (56 d), and no supplementation. Steer Average Daily Grain (ADG) was greater with supplementation than without, and was also greater for supplementation the entire season than when restricted to the latter half of the season. Pasture carrying capacities did not differ between entire and late season supplementation, but there was a tendency (P=0.17) for greater pasture carrying capacity without supplementation (602 steer days ha^-1) than with supplementation treatments. Results indicate that supplementation with ground corn for the entire grazing season can boost steer ADG, but that consumption of ground corn in quantities used in the experiment can elevate forage intake to levels that can reduce pasture carrying capacity and the potential weight gain per unit land area.