The ample spring rains helped produce abundant pounds of forage this year in cool-season grasses in pastures and rangeland in areas like Nebraska's Panhandle. However, the quality of those forages has declined significantly, as the plants may have already matured and set seed, according to an article by Aaron Berger, extension educator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://bit.ly/…).
The lower quality cool season and native grass species such as western wheat and needleandthread can spell problems for conception rates for late-spring calving replacement heifers and young cows bred between now and late summer, Berger said. Research from UN-L has proved the importance of nutrition prior to and through the breeding season, as heifers and young cows with subpar nutrition tend to have lower conception rates.
Such high-risk heifers and young cows benefit from providing 1 to 2 pounds per day of fiber-based energy/protein supplements prior to and through the early breeding season to improve conception rates.
Distillers grains products make an ideal supplement to complement lower quality cool-season grasses because of its quality protein and energy content. Much research has proven that distillers grains work well to supplement low-quality forage.
The downward trend in prices of distillers grains to almost record low prices make it an especially good value currently.
Cheryl Anderson can be reached at Cheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org
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