|Winter 2013 may provide some challenges that ranchers have not faced in the recent past, and managing winter feeding costs is among them. However, proper winter feeding is important to profitable cow-calf production. To develop an effective feeding program, there are some things to evaluate prior to purchasing feeds. Below is a checklist to help develop the best winter rations for the operation.
Work with a local Cow/Calf Field Specialist or State Beef Specialist to assist in answering these questions. Rations will be ranch-specific; however three examples of late-gestation rations are outlined below. These should not be utilized without knowing if they match the actual quality of your forages, as there has been wide variation in forage quality this year due to the drought conditions. Samples of grass hay have ranged from 9.5% CP down to 4.5% CP, all dependent on when and how the hay was put up.
11300 lb. cow in late gestation: pounds-per-day, as fed.
For more information, contact SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist Adele Harty.