High-nitrogenspringforageco.cfm High-nitrogen spring forage could pose cattle health problems
Home News Livestock Crops Markets Hay, Range & Pasture Home & Family Classifieds Resources This Week's Journal
Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer



Farm Survey


AgriMartin
Journal Getaways

Advertisement
Reader Comment:
by jJane

"Thanks for sharing this story!"....Read the story...
Join other discussions.

High-nitrogen spring forage could pose cattle health problems

Wyoming

Early moisture has resulted in abundant grass in many Wyoming pastures.

This early lush grass is high in nitrogen and may be low in certain minerals such as magnesium; both can lead to cattle health problems, said a University of Wyoming livestock nutrition expert.

Jim Waggoner, an associate professor in the College of Agriculture's Department of Renewable Resources, said loss of old forage in many of the state's range areas due to periods of drought the last several years has added to the potential problem. The old grass typically dilutes high nitrogen in the early grasses and decreases its potential negative effects on cattle grazing the area. It also helps reduce incidences of grass tetany, which is associated with an imbalance of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and phosphorus in early spring growth forage.

In addition, this old growth grass helps reduce the incidence of larkspur poisoning that is prevalent in many areas in the state, Waggoner said.

One approach to help reduce these potential problems is to delay cattle turn out until there is at least 3 to 4 inches of grazable forage in the pasture.

"The natural reaction people are having is they want to turn their cattle out now, on to this great-looking early forage, and I can certainly understand that," said Waggoner, a range/livestock nutrition specialist with the UW Cooperative Extension Service.

In addition to health problems, high nitrogen levels can, for example, suppress food intake.

"That compounds the problem, as cattle will stop grazing before their nutrient needs are met resulting in weight losses and decreased milk production," he said. "You can bring animals back in off the pastures and offer them hay, and they won't eat it. Put them in a corral, and lock the gate. In two or three days, their blood has cleaned up, and they'll start eating hay again."

Waggoner advised waiting an extra 10 days to two weeks before turning cattle out on these lush areas and feed a little extra hay and/or a protein and/or mineral supplement to ensure cattle are in shape to make optimum use of the lush grass resource.

"The urge to get the cows off of dry feed and out on grass into pastures is high," he said. "But hang on for that extra 10 days or so and get more hay or protein or mineral into them and curtail a potential wreck."

For more information, contact Waggoner at 307-766-2365 or jwags@uwyo.edu, or a local UW CES educator. Contact information is available online at http://ces.uwyo.edu/Counties.asp.



Google
 
Web hpj.com

Copyright 1995-2014.  High Plains Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Any republishing of these pages, including electronic reproduction of the editorial archives or classified advertising, is strictly prohibited. If you have questions or comments you can reach us at
High Plains Journal 1500 E. Wyatt Earp Blvd., P.O. Box 760, Dodge City, KS 67801 or call 1-800-452-7171. Email: webmaster@hpj.com

 

Archives Search







Inside Futures

Editorial Archives

Browse Archives