Feeding cattle in the winter can be the single, largest expense for producers, and Roy Burris, University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture beef specialist, says this year will not be an exception.
Grazing cows and heifers on grassland set aside in August for winter pasture can significantly reduce feeding costs if the condition of animals can be maintained from grass alone.
"Deferred grazing can significantly reduce winter feed costs and as input costs are increasing, farmers are revisiting this as a way of keeping cows out for longer," says Liz Genever, EBLEX sheep and cattle specialist located in England. "The quality should be a similar level to a standing crop of hay with the advantage being that you don't have the cost of conserving the forage because it is grazed in situ."
This system involves the removal of livestock from grassland in the late summer to allow a grass wedge to build up for feeding in the late autumn and early winter.