GRAZING WHOLE CORN WINTER COW NUTRITION

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1 Federated Co-operatives Limited GRAZING WHOLE CORN WINTER COW NUTRITION Sharon Klinger Ruminant Nutritionist

2 Corn and Cow Nutrition

3 Water Energy Protein Minerals Vitamins Basic Animal Nutrition The cow is a machine: Water, energy, & protein are the fuel Minerals & vitamins are the oil

4 Minerals and Vitamins A year-round requirement as vitamins and minerals are required for: Maintenance Growth Reproduction Gestation Lactation Deficiencies take time to be fixed

5 Most important nutrient Snow? Extra energy required Make sure adequate Quality Water Prairie water typically high in salts & sulfur

6 Energy Grains and Forages Measure T.D.N. Total Digestible Nutritients» NEg, NEm, NEl

7 Protein Feed protein sources true protein vs. non-protein nitrogen (NPN) degradable vs. undegradeable (by-pass) Microbial protein synthesized by rumen microbes from NPN Feed the rumen

8 Minerals Involved in all aspects of metabolism Macro vs. Micro refers to the relative amounts required macro (%): Ca, P, Mg, K, Na, Cl micro (mg/kg or ppm): Se, Co, Cu, Mn, Mo, I, Fe

9 Calcium and Phosphorus Rule of Thumb Ca:P ratio should be no less than 1:1 and no greater than 7:1 Legume forages: Hi Ca, moderate P Grass forages: low Ca, moderate P Cereal grains: low Ca, high P - Corn

10 Vitamins Required for various body functions enzyme precursors Antioxidants ADE

11 Feed Intake The most important variable of nutrition key determinant of performance Cattle eat to meet their energy needs

12 Factors Affecting Energy Req & Intake Cold stress may increase intake by 10-30% Condition & hair coat under conditioned cow will eat more wet coat is poor insulation Physiological state reduced intake before calving followed by rapidly increased intake during lactation Forage quality lower quality reduces intake

13 Effect of Forage Quality on Intake Forage Quality Intake (% BW) Dry matter intake of 1200 lb beef cow High % lbs Medium % lbs Poor % lbs

14 Corn

15 Corn Heat Units

16 Corn Heat Units AVERAGE ACCUMULATED CHU FOR SILAGE PRODUCTION (Half the years you will get more CHU, half the years you will get less CHU) *Adapted from Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

17 Corn Heat Units different areas Alberta: 442/$FILE/onl_s_9_twp_annual_normals_ gif Saskatchewan: Manitoba: can also give an estimate

18 Grazing Corn Maturity

19 Why Graze Corn? Nutritional value of whole plant corn can meet or exceed a beef cow s requirements Nutrient Requirements for Beef Cattle 1400 lb (635 kg ) (BCS 3.0) CP (%) TDN (%) NEm (Mcal/d) 1st trimester nd trimester rd trimester (adapted from NRC 2000) When corn reaches maturity, it loses feed value as forage, (leaves/stalks) but compensates in grain/cobs Average C.P. 7-8% Average TDN 61-66%

20 Grazing Corn Reduce winter feed costs Usually nutritionally will match mid to late pregnancy nutrition of a cow (may need protein supplementation) Low management (after adaptation)

21 Grazing Corn - Adaptation Important to adapt cows to minimize grain overload Utilize a small grazing area, or limit grazing time Feed grain for at least a week prior to going out on corn Have extra roughage available Don t turn out hungry cows

22 Grazing Corn How many acres do I need? 200 cows for 30 days 30 x 200 = 6000 cow grazing days Based on 250 cow days per acre 6000/250 = 24 acres

23 Grazing Corn Management Move cows every 3-5 days to have low residue left behind Manage and Monitor Provide shelter

24 Test It Grazing Corn Know what you are working with Wet Chemistry approx $45 per test Results in 2 weeks time

25 Grazing Corn How do you sample it? Cut a minimum of 3 whole corn stalks (including the cobs) average stalks -not the best, not the worst We take care of the preparation

26 Grazing Corn Mineral Strategy Corn is low in calcium Supplement at least a 2:1 mineral, or a 3:1 mineral is ideal Cows will consume higher amounts of mineral and salt

27 Grazing corn Protein Supp Yearlings/Growing cattle/late gestation Supplement protein through forage, tubs, blocks

28 Grazing Corn - Tips Use electric fence. Make sure ground is frozen and dry Force cows to clean up Have a backup plan

29 Grazing Corn Benefits Extends the grazing season Reduces feed costs Cow spreads the manure herself Reduces labour and machinery costs Reduces reliance on stored feeds Corn is a good choice for winter grazing as it stands up well in the snow

30 Questions?

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