Harvested feed sources have always been the largest cost of production for cattle producers. With increasing input prices, many producers are looking for new, innovative approaches to feeding and managing their cattle with fewer of these inputs. Some are choosing to reduce the amount of fertilizer applied to the field, while others may completely opt out of purchasing fertilizer. Some producers have adjusted stocking rates, while others look at alternative options. Either way you try to manage costs, whether by reducing inputs or stocking rates, there’s a chance that you could negatively impact production and your bottom line.
Researchers at the University of Arkansas developed the 300 Day Grazing Program in an effort to help livestock producers manage their “bottom line.” The researchers took into consideration the rising costs of feed, fertilizer, and fuel to develop this program. Their goal was to implement management changes to enhance the utilization of grown forages and reduce dependency on fertilizer, supplemental feed, and fuel. Important parts of this new management scheme included stockpiling forages, improving grazing through rotational grazing systems, utilizing complimentary forages, establishing legumes, and efficiently managing hay to reduce storage and feeding losses. The 300 Day Grazing Program was able to successfully demonstrate a positive impact by increasing grazing days, reducing nitrogen fertilizer needs, and improving hay efficiency.
To learn more check out this video from the Arkansas Farm Bureau.