Cattle

Forage for Cattle: Fall Considerations

Nutrition : Forage

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Purina Animal Nutrition

Fall is busy with harvest and weaning calves (among other things). However, it’s a time to pay close attention to forage for cattle.
 
Here are a few fall forage considerations:

1. Meet cattle nutrition requirements. 

Forages change drastically from late summer into early fall. What was once acceptable forage for cattle may now be lacking. The result? Your cattle may be getting shorted on nutrients. If you haven’t already considered a supplement, like Purina Accuration® Supplements with Intake Modifying Technology®, now is the time to do so.

2. Identify the best time for weaning calves. 

Evaluate cow body condition score, your pasture situation and when it makes the most sense to start weaning calves. Weaning calves can help maintain and add cow body condition and spare forage for cattle as you move into winter.

3. Maximize stored forage. 

Maintaining forage quality is extremely important, and one part of quality is storage. Make every effort to store hay in a way that minimizes loss. Storing hay indoors or on solid ground with proper drainage can help keep your forage for cattle in good shape.

4. Harvest and store high-quality silage.

If you’re still harvesting silage, make sure you harvest at the correct moisture level and use inoculants as needed to help with proper fermentation. Regardless of storage type, make sure silage is in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment.

5. Keep a close eye on body condition score.

Monitor the body condition score of first calf heifers and young cows going into fall. These females are still growing, supporting a calf at side and developing a fetus. It’s essential to meet their high nutrient requirements.
 
Does your nutrition program stack up? Find out with a Proof Pays feeding trial.