Mark J. Goetz

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science

First Advisor

Lawrence B. Embry


Traditionally, pasture and range have been the major source of nutrients for grazing animals. The manner by which ruminants survive and thrive on range with no additional nutrients other than those supplied by forage is unique in the animal kingdom. Nevertheless, western man has cultivated a taste for grain-finished beef. To meet that demand, modern beef production involves both the grazing of forages and the feeding of rations high in concentrates. Major disruptive changes, either physical (as in prolonged drought) or economical (fluctuation in market prices) encourage the reexamination of traditional systems. Within the last 10 years, extreme fluctuations in the price of grains, the high cost of land and money, and low cattle prices have stimulated a deeper investigation of the traditional roles of forage and grain for beef production. Increased emphasis in the relative efficiency of pasture, alternate feedstuffs and management systems will be determined primarily by the economics of production and consumer demand. The consideration of rate of gain and feed efficiency by the producer, flavor, tenderness, fat and cholesterol of the meat by the consumer, and concern for the human vs livestock competition for grain may all influence the choice of beef cattle production systems. This thesis describes one part of a larger interdisciplinary project involving personnel from the Plant Sciences, Animal and Range Sciences and Agricultural Economics departments. The total project was a systems approach to beef production and included the evaluation of the effects of various pasture types and grazing management systems on pasture cattle performance and land use, the effects of feeding regimen and market weight on finishing cattle performance and carcass traits, and the economic ramifications of the various methods examined. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of pasture systems and rates of supplementation upon the feedlot performance of yearling steers during dry lot finishing under various conditions (or systems) as to dietary energy and market finish.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cattle -- Feeding and feeds
Cattle -- Carcasses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State