weaned calves, grazing season, tye, turnips
As part of a series of studies to determine the feasibility of short season crops to extend the grazing season for weaned calves, planting date studies and a grazing trial were conducted near Brookings, SD. Small plots of turnips were seeded with a no-till drill into oat stubble on Aug 1 and 15 in year 1. In year 2, rye and turnips were seeded on July 20, Aug 1, and Aug 15. Based on forage yield, planting these crops on or before August 1 in eastern South Dakota is recommended. In late September of year 3, 44 weaned heifers were allotted by weight to graze rye or rye + turnips for 63 d. Following the grazing study all heifers were fed and managed as one group until the following April. During the grazing study, heifers grazing rye + turnips gained 0.4 lb less per day than heifers grazing rye. From the end of the grazing study to April the rye + turnips group gained 0.2 lb more per day than the heifers that had grazed rye. This resulted in a similar mean weight in April. Under the conditions of this study, short season crops such as rye or turnips are a feasible source of forage for grazing weaned calves.
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South Dakota State University
Copyright © 2006 South Dakota State University
Smart, Alexander J. and Pruitt, Richard J., "Rye and Turnips to Extend the Grazing Season for Weaned Calves" (2006). South Dakota Beef Report, 2006. 12.