Forage Utilization and Beef Cow Nutrition

Evaluating rotations of winter annual and summer annual forages for yield, nutritional value, and economic sustainability as forage resources for beef cattle in northern Iowa

Authors
  • Denise L. Schwab (Iowa State Universtiy)
  • Josh Michel (Iowa State University)
  • Beth Reynolds (Iowa State University)
  • Ken T. Pecinovsky (Iowa State University)
  • Shelby Gruss

Abstract

A winter annual- summer annual forage rotation can be used to break up the traditional corn - soybean rotation and produce 7-11 tons per acre of forage biomass on a dry matter basis per year.

Dry conditions in the fall of 2020 and again in the fall of 2002 through 2023, limited germination and early growth. Moisture in the spring of 2021 reinvigorated growth, but the drought in the spring of 2023 prevented germination of the summer annual so only a single harvest was taken on September 5, 2023. The 47-year average rainfall for the farm for April – November is 30.8 inches but from April – November 2023 there was only 13.8 inches of rainfall significantly reducing summer annual yields.

The variation between years indicates a double cropping system is very dependent on adequate rainfall for forage establishment and growth, as seen by the loss of the August harvest in 2023 where only half the average rainfall was received compared to 2021 and 2022.

 

Keywords: winter annual forage, summer annual forage, forage yield, forage quality

How to Cite:

Schwab, D. L., Michel, J., Reynolds, B., Pecinovsky, K. T. & Gruss, S., (2024) “Evaluating rotations of winter annual and summer annual forages for yield, nutritional value, and economic sustainability as forage resources for beef cattle in northern Iowa”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 1(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/air.17746

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Published on
30 Mar 2024
Peer Reviewed
License
Public Domain