Group Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Title: Sugarcane silage, shocked sugarcane and carpet grass as roughages for wintering the beef herd
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026399/00001
 Material Information
Title: Sugarcane silage, shocked sugarcane and carpet grass as roughages for wintering the beef herd
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 19 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kirk, W. Gordon ( William Gordon ), 1898-1979
Crown, R. M ( Raymond Merchant ), 1901-
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1942
 Subjects
Subject: Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Sugarcane as feed -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Grasses -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: W.G. Kirk and R.W. Crown.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026399
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000925174
oclc - 18230258
notis - AEN5818
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida








UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION2 ,
WILMON NEWELL, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA



SUGARCANE SILAGE, SHOCKED SUGARCANE AND
CARPET GRASS AS ROUGHAGES FOR
WINTERING THE BEEF HERD

W. G. KIRK and R. M. CROWN



Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


Fig. 1.-Sugarcane stored by standing against upright supports. Picture
taken four months after harvesting.


July, 1942


Bulletin 373




EXECUTIVE STAFF
John J. Tigert, M.A., LL.D., President of the
University3
Wilmon Newell, D.Sc., Director3
Harold Mowry, M.S.A., Asso. Director
W. M. Fifield, M.S., Asst. Dir., Admin.'
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editor3
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Assistant Editor3
Jefferson Thomas, Assistant Editor3
Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian
Ruby Newhall, Administrative Managers
K. H. Graham, Business Manager3
Rachel McQuarrie, Accountant3

MAIN STATION, GAINESVILLE
AGRONOMY
W. E. Stokes, M.S., Agronomist'
W. A. Leukel, Ph.D., Agronomist3
Frad H. Hull, Ph.D., Agronomist
G E. Ritchey, M.S., Associate2
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate
Roy E. Blaser, M.S., Associate
G. B. Killinger, Ph.D., Associate
John P. Camp, M.S., Assistant
Fred A. Clark, B.S.A., Assistant
ANIMAL INDUSTRY
A. L. Shealy, D.V.M., An. Industrialist'1
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Dairy Husbandman3
E. L. Fouts, Ph.D., Dairy Technologist3
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian
M. W. Emmel, D.V.M., Veterinarian3
L. E. Swanson, D.V.M., Parasitologist
N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr., Poultry Husb.3
T. R. Freeman, Ph.D., Asso. in Dairy Mfg.
R. S. Glascock, Ph.D., Asso. An. Husb.
D. J. Smith, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.3
P. T. Dix Arnold, M.S.A., Asst. Dairy Husb.3
L. L. Rusoff, Ph.D., Asst. in An. Nutrition3
L. E. Mull, M.S., Asst. in Dairy Tech.
0. K. Moore, M.S., Asst. Poultry Husb.
ECONOMICS, AGRICULTURAL
C. V. Noble, Ph.D., Agr. Economist' 3
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Associate
A. H. Spurlock, M.S.A., Associate
Max E. Brunk, M.S., Assistant
ECONOMICS, HOME
Ouida D. Abbott, Ph.D., Home Econ.1
Ruth 0. Townsend, R.N., Assistant
R. B. French, Ph.D., Asso. Chemist
ENTOMOLOGY
J. R. Watson, A.M., Entomologist'
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Associate
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A., Assistant
HORTICULTURE
G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Horticulturist'
A. L. Stahl, Ph.D., Associate
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Truck Hort.
R. J. Wilmot, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
R. D. Dickey, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
J. Carlton Cain, B.S.A., Asst. Hort."
Victor F. Nettles, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.*
Byron E. Janes, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
F. S. Lagassee, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.2
H. M. Sell, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.2
PLANT PATHOLOGY
W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist1 3
George F. Weber, Ph.D., Plant Path.3
L. O. Gratz, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Erdman West, M.S.. Mycologist
Lillian E. Arnold, M.S., Asst. Botanist
SOILS
R. V. Allison, Ph.D., Chemist' s
Gaylord M. Volk, M.S., Chemist
F. B. Smith, Ph.D., Microbiologist3
C. E. Bell, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant Chemist
J.. Russell Henderson, M.S.A., Associate3
L. H. Rogers, Ph.D., Asso. Biochemist'
Richard A. Carrigan, B.S., Asso. Chemist
Geo. D. Thornton, M.S., Asst. Chemist
Thos. Whitehead, Jr., M.S.A., Asst.
R. E. Caldwell, M.S.A., Soil Surveyor
Olaf C. Olson, B.S.. Soil Surveyor


BOARD OF CONTROL
H. P. Adair, Chairman, Jacksonville
R. H. Gore, Fort Lauderdale
N. B. Jordan, Quincy
T. T. Scott, Live Oak
Thos. W. Bryant, Lakeland
J. T. Diamond Secretary, Tallahassee

BRANCH STATIONS
NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY
J. D. Warner, M.S., Agronomist in Charge
R. R. Kinkaid, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
R. W. Wallace, B.S., Asso. Agronomist
J. H. Wallance, M.A., Asso. Agronomist
Elliott Whitehurst, B.S.A., Asst. An. Hush.'
W. C. McCormick, B.S.A., Asst. An. Hush.
Jesse Reeves, Asst. Agron., Tobacco
W. H. Chapman, M.S., Asst. Agron.'
CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED
A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Horticulturist in Charge
V. C. Jamison, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
B. R. Fudge, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
W. L. Thompson, B.S., Associate Ento.
F. F. Cowart, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
W. W. Lawless, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist"
R. K. Voorhees, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
H. O. Sterling, B.S., Asst. Hort.
T. W. Young, Ph.D., Asso. Hort., Coastal
EVERGLADES STA.. BELLE GLADE
J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Biochemist in Charge
J. W. Wilson, Sc.D., Entomologist
F. D. Stevens, B.S., Sugarcane Agron.
Thomas Bregger, Ph.D., Sugarcane
Physiologist
G. R. Townsend, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
R. W. Kidder, M.S., Asst. An. Husb.
W. T. Forsee, Ph.D., Asso. Chemist
B. S. Clayton, B.S.C.E., Drainage Eng.'
F. S. Andrews, Ph.D., Asso. Truck Hort.
Roy R. Blair, Ph.D., Asst. Agron.
SUB-TROPICAL STA., HOMESTEAD
Geo. D. Ruehle Ph.D., Plant Path. in Charge
S. J. Lynch, B.S.A., Asst. Horticulturist
E. M. Andersen, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
W. CENT. FLA. STA.. BROOKSVILLE
W. F. Ward, M.S., Asst. An. Husin Charge2
RANGE CATTLE STA., ONA
W. G. Kirk, Ph.D., An. Hush. in Charge
E. M. Hodges, Ph.D., Asso. Agron.
Gilbert A. Tucker, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.1
Floyd Eubanks, B.S.A., Asst. An. Hush.

FIELD STATIONS
Leesburg
M. N. Walker, Ph.D., Plant Path. in Charge'
K. W. Loucks, M.S., Asst. Plant Path.
E. E. Hartwig, Ph.D., Asst. Agron. & Path.
Plant City
A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Hastings
A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
E. N. McCubbin, Ph.D., Asso. Truck Hort.
Monticello
S. O. Hill, B.S., Entomologist2 4
A. M. Phillips, B.S., Asst. Entomologist'
Bradenton
Jos. R. Beckenbach, Ph.D., Truck Hort. in
Charge
E. G. Kelsheimer, Ph.D., Entomologist
F. T. McLean, Ph.D., Horticulturist
David G. Kelbert, Asst. Plant Pathologist
Sanford
R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Chemist in Charge,
Celery Investigations
W. B. Shippy, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
Jack Russell, M.S., Asst. Entomologist
Lakeland
E. S. Ellison, Meteorologist2

1 Head of Department.
SIn cooperation with U. S.
3 Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
4 On leave.


(A34t 01







SUGARCANE SILAGE, SHOCKED SUGARCANE AND
CARPET GRASS AS ROUGHAGES FOR
WINTERING THE BEEF HERD

W. G. KIRK and R. M. CROWN1

CONTENTS
Page
Preliminary Trials in Storing and Feeding Sugarcane ................. 4
M ain Trials ................................. ............ ......... 7
Method of Procedure ............. ....... ......... ..... ........ 7
Feeds .......... ............. ....... .... ...... .... 7
M inerals ....................... .. ................................ 9
Experimental Animals ......... .. .......................... 9
Experimental Results ............ ..... .... ..... ... .................... 10
Composition of Sugarcane Silage and Shocked Sugarcane ..... 16
Mineral Consumption ........... .. .... ....... ........ ... 17
Conclusions .... ......... ....... 18

INTRODUCTION

Supplying sufficient nutritious feed on an economical basis to
prevent excessive losses during the winter months is one of the
most important problems in maintaining beef animals. Weight
records obtained by workers of the Agricultural Experiment Sta-
tion, Gainesville, over a period of five years show that native
cows kept on a combination' of range and improved pasture lost
24 pounds on the average from September to December and 74
pounds from December to the following March. Other ill effects
of underfeeding included an unthrifty condition of the herd. The
calf crop was reduced, many cows failed to produce sufficient
milk to nourish their calves, and in severe winters animals died
as a result of their weakened condition.
The loss with younger stock was greater than with mature
animals. Calves and yearlings frequently were stunted and
failed to develop satisfactorily for herd replacements. The great-
est loss was with heifers carrying their first calves. In winter
these immature cattle were unable to obtain sufficient nutrients
from the pasture to maintain a normal state of nutrition and
to withstand the added burden of producing a fetus. At calving
time it was not uncommon to lose both calf and heifer.
A plentiful supply of good quality roughage will reduce to a
minimum the amount of concentrate feed necessary to keep the
beef herd in a thrifty condition throughout the winter. Two
of the important roughages produced in Florida are sugarcane

SFormerly Assistant Animal Husbandman, Florida Agricultural Experi-
ment Station.





Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


and carpet grass. Sugarcane is adapted to many Florida soils
and produces a larger yield of green forage than do many other
crops. Carpet grass, because it is easiest to establish, has been
the most widely used grass in Florida improved pastures. Since
sugarcane and carpet grass are grown extensively and can be
produced economically, it was important to determine their value
as roughage for wintering the beef herd.

PRELIMINARY TRIALS IN STORING AND FEEDING
SUGARCANE
Prior to 1936 the principal method of preserving sugarcane
for winter feeding was by ensiling the cut forage. One of the
staff members 2 suggested that sugarcane be stacked against
upright supports to store it for winter feeding. Several other
methods offered possibilities for keeping sugarcane during the
winter months. Therefore it was decided to test the practica-
bility of storing fresh sugarcane by the following methods:
1. Shocked; approximately one ton of sugarcane in round
shocks.
2. Stacked; with butts on the ground to a depth of 6, 12, 18
and 24 inches on each side of upright supports.
3. Banked; stripped and covered with six inches of earth.
4. Piled; as for banked cane but unstripped and not covered.
5. Ensiled; whole canes placed in a trench silo to a depth of
seven feet and covered with two feet of earth.
The sugarcane was harvested between November 1 and 10
and the forage stored by the first three methods was fed from
January 12 to May 13, 1937, to seven mature purebred Aberdeen
Angus and Hereford cows. For the first five weeks of the ex-
periment these cows had access to good oats and rye pasture
during the day and were kept in a dry lot at night when they
were fed the sugarcane. In addition, they received from two
to three pounds of concentrates daily throughout the 122-day
test.
Results of this feeding test are given in Table 1.
The sugarcane stored in round shocks was firm after 73 days,
although the outside leaves were dry and brittle and the inside
leaves damp and discolored. The sugarcane at first was cut
into 2- to 4-inch pieces previous to feeding but this was not

SH. Harold Hume, then assistant director, research, Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station, now dean, College of Agriculture.






Roughages for Wintering the Beef Herd


short enough to permit the cows to eat it readily. The cows
refused 45.7 percent of the cane during the first week and 43.3
percent during the next four weeks (Table 1). At the end of
the fifth week the cows were taken off of oat and rye pasture
and confined to a carpet grass pasture during the day. During
the next 12-day period the refusal was only 25.3 percent.

TABLE 1.-CONSUMPTION BY CATTLE OF SUGARCANE STORED IN SHOCKS,
AGAINST UPRIGHT SUPPORTS, AND BY STRIPPING AND BANKING.


Method
of
Storage


Shock


Feed- Prepa- Num- I Sugar-
ing ration her cane
Period for of Fed
1937 I Feeding I CowsT Daily

pounds
1-12 to Cut into 7 144.7
1-18 2- to 4-
inch
lengths


Shock 1-19 to
2-16

Shock 2-17 to
2-28

Upright* 3-1 to Cut into|
6 inches 3-6 1-inch
in depth lengths


Upright* 3-7 to "
12 inches 3-20
in depth

Upright* 3-21 toi
18 inches 4-6
in depth


Upright*
24 inches
in depth

Stripped
and
banked

Stripped
and
banked


4-7 to
4-26


4-27 to
5-8

5-7 to
5-13


55


7 63.8


70


7



7


67.5


70


Sugar- Re- Condition
cane fused of Cane


pounds percent
66.1 45.7 Leaves on outside
dry and brittle but
wet on inside from
rains. Canes well
preserved.

23.8 43.3

13.9 25.3

5.8 10.5 Leaves dry but of
little value as feed.
Canes well pre-
served.

4.9 8.9 Indication of
sprouting.


8.2 12.8 Leaves partly
Spoiled, slight
sprouting and
some red rot
present.

9.8 14.0 Leaves spoiled,
considerable
sprouting and
red rot.

11.1 16.4 Canes wet and
slimy not appetiz-
ing in appearance.

32 45.7 Considerable
spoilage.


Sugarcane placed upright on each side of support at depths indicated.
t Cane stripped of leaves, placed in bank and covered with 6 inches of earth.
$ Cows were on oats and rye pasture during part of period, and had the run of a carpet
grass pasture. They were brought to lots each evening when they were fed the sugarcane.
Two to three pounds of concentrates per cow was sprinkled over the cut sugarcane.





Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


On March 1 the sugarcane stored by standing against upright
supports at 6, 12, 18 and 24 inches in depth had not spoiled to
any appreciable extent. By April 26, over five and one-half
months after the sugarcane was harvested, the leaves of canes
stored 24 inches deep were spoiled, sprouts were growing from
the nodes, the canes were blackened and the pith was full of
red rot. However, it is seen from Table 1 that the refusal when
fed to cows was only 3.5 percent greater from April 7 to 26
than from March 1 to 6.
When the bank of cane was opened on April 27 the canes were
found to be wet and slimy but were fairly sound. When exposed
to the air the sugarcane deteriorated rapidly. The cows were
fed on the average nine pounds each daily for 10 days and the
refusal was 16.4 percent of the cut sugarcane. During the fol-
lowing week the refusal was 45.7 percent. The large amount
of refusal during the week beginning May 7 was partly the re-
sult of the unpalatable feed and of the increase of grass in the
pastures to which the cows had access during the day.
The unstripped sugarcane, stored in an uncovered pile, was
fed to native and grade Hereford cows three months after har-
vesting. The leaves protected the canes but were of little value
for feed. The canes while sound were discolored and appeared
less palatable than the sugarcane st6red in shocks or against
upright supports. However, when cut into 1-inch pieces and
fed to mature cows there was practically no refusal.
The whole canes ensiled in a trench were fed three months
later. When uncovered it was found that the canes were moldy
and, to a depth of approximately one foot, unfit for feed. Those
in the center and bottom of the silo, while wet and slimy on the
surface, were nevertheless firm and sound. The leaves were
black and mostly decomposed. The whole canes were fed to
native cows as their only source of roughage for several weeks.
After the cows became accustomed to it no further loss in body
weight occurred, but feeding whole canes was wasteful of feed.
The results of these preliminary tests can be summarized as
follows:
1. Sugarcane may be kept four to five months when stored
in round shocks or placed 6 to 24 inches in depth, with butts
on the ground, on both sides of an upright support. Forage
stored by these two methods proved to be palatable when fed
to cattle.





Roughages for Wintering the Beef Herd


2. Banked cane, stripped and covered, was eaten readily by
cattle when fed six months after harvesting. However, when
the bank was opened the cane spoiled rapidly. This method could
not be considered practical for storing large quantities qf cane.
3. When piled unstripped sugarcane, after three months'
storage, was fed as the only roughage there was almost no re-
fusal. In periods of heavy rainfall there may be considerable
loss of feed stored by this method.
4. Ensiling whole canes was an unsatisfactory method of
storage.
5. Less sugarcane was refused when cut into 1-inch than
when cut into 2- to 4-inch lengths.
Completion of these preliminary trials showed that the most
satisfactory method of storing sugarcane in a fresh state was
in shocks. Although the cane kept well when placed to a depth
of 24 inches against upright supports, with butts on the ground,
a large quantity could not be stored in a small space.

MAIN TRIALS
METHOD OF PROCEDURE
Information obtained from the preliminary trials in 1936-1937
in storing and feeding sugarcane was used as a basis in out-
lining a project on wintering beef cattle. As a result of these
studies it was decided to conduct feeding trials using the fol-
lowing rations:
Lot 1. Sugarcane silage and cottonseed meal
Lot 2. Shocked sugarcane and cottonseed meal
Lot 3. Improved pasture and cottonseed meal
Feeds.-Cayana 10 variety of sugarcane was cut into 1/2-inch
pieces and placed in a trench silo about November 1 of each
year, early enough to avoid severe frost damage, yet late enough
to allow the cane to mature. Since the several trials began
from November 17 to 28, it was necessary to feed sugarcane
silage that had been ensiled the previous year.
The Cayana 10 sugarcane was shocked for use in the first
two trials while in the third trial Cayana 10 and a selected
variety known as F31-762 were used. Variety F31-762 was

SUnder range conditions cottonseed cubes or pellets would be used in
place of cottonseed meal.





Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


considered superior to the Cayana 10 because the canes were
softer and the sugar content was slightly higher. In the first
two trials the sugarcane was placed in shocks of approximately
one ton green weight. As the canes lost moisture the shocks
shrank and many fell down. The shocks in the worst condition
were used first. In only a few instances did shocks have to be
rebuilt to prevent excessive weathering before the sugarcane
was fed.
For the third trial two-thirds of the sugarcane was shocked
and one-third was stored by stacking upright against supports
to a depth of approximately 20 feet. With the exception of
those on the surface, the leaves of the stacked cane remained
green and the cane appeared more palatable than that fed dur-
ing the previous two trials. The stacked cane was used at the
beginning, that in shocks towards the end of the trial.
In November 1940 4 all the sugarcane was stored by stacking
with butts on the ground against upright supports to a depth
of 50 feet. In dry weather this sugarcane kept well, but in
periods of heavy rainfall the leaves and canes in the center of
the stack turned dark and the feed seemed inferior to the cane
of the previous year stored approximately 20 feet deep. When
the cane butts were placed on moist earth deterioration did not
proceed as rapidly as when the butts were placed on dry earth.
This method of storing sugarcane is shown in Figure 1 (cover).
SFeeding results of this trial not reported in this bulletin.

Fig. 2.-Sugarcane in round shocks 2% months after harvesting. Note the
twisting of shock in foreground.

















.*..
V Cti-:





Roughages for Wintering the Beef Herd


In Trial I the sugarcane was put through a small feed chopper
and cut into 1-inch pieces immediately before feeding. This
machine is shown in Figure 2. In Trials II and III a 12-inch
silage cutter, which cut the canes into 1/2-inch pieces, was used.
The improved pasture consisted mostly of carpet with some
centipede and bermuda grass. Henley 5 showed, in two trials,
that carpet grass made a satisfactory roughage for wintering
mature beef cows. In 1936-37 approximately two acres were
allowed per cow, while in 1937-38 and 1938-39 the pasture allow-
ance was increased to three acres per animal. Cattle were kept
on this pasture throughout the year. At the beginning of each
test the carpet grass was approximately four inches high over
most of the pasture and furnished the only roughage for the
animals in the pasture lots. During the winter, especially that
of 1939-1940, there was little growth of new grass.
Cottonseed meal containing 41 percent protein, the highest
grade sold in Florida, was used in addition to the roughage in
all trials.
The animals in Lots 1 and 2 were fed all the roughage they
would eat twice daily. The amount of cottonseed meal fed at
any particular time depended upon the condition of the cows.
Minerals.-The cows had access at all times to salt, steamed
bone meal and the "salt sick" mineral supplement. The salt sick
supplement consisted of the following ingredients:
Common salt .~... ..................... ... ...... 100 pounds
Red oxide of iron .................. ....-... -25 pounds
Copper sulfate ................. ..-............ 1 pound
Cobalt chloride ................................. 1 ounce
Experimental Animals.- Native and grade Hereford cows
from 3 to 12 years of age were used in these trials. The grade
Hereford cows were either first or second cross from a founda-
tion herd of native cows. At the beginning of each trial the
cows were divided as uniformly as possible into their respective
groups from the standpoint of breeding, age, disposition, preg-
nancy and weight. The cows were weighed individually on three
consecutive days at the beginning and end of the trial and at
28-day intervals throughout the trial.
Since the breeding season each year was from March 15 to
August 15 several cows in each group dropped calves during the
SHenley, W. W. Wintering beef cattle in Florida. Fla. Agr. Expt. Sta.
Press Bul. 503. 1937.
Cobalt chloride can be replaced with one ounce of cobalt sulfate or
one-half ounce of cobalt carbonate.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


test period. The weights of the calves are included in the total
weights of each lot. Any feed eaten by the calves in Lots 1
and 2 is included in the total feed consumed by their respec-
tive lots.
EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS

Three feeding trials were completed in which sugarcane silage,
shocked sugarcane and improved pasture grasses were the rough-
ages fed to Lots 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Trial I began Novem-
ber 27, 1937, and ended March 11, 1938, lasting 105 days; Trial
II began November 18, 1938, and ended March 10, 1939, lasting
113 days; Trial III began November 17, 1939, and ended Feb-
ruary 22, 1940, lasting 98 days.
TABLE 2.-SUMMARY OF WEATHER RECORDS FOR THE DURATION OF EACH
OF THE THREE TRIALS.


Year




Trial
I
1937-38



Trial
II
1938-39



Trial
III
1939-40


TemDerature Records in Degrees Fahrenheit
No.
Month No. Days Mean Mean Mean Precipi-
Days from Low- Maxi- Mini- for station in
Below 400 to est mum mum Month Inches
330 F. 330 F.

Oct. 2 33 80.0 60.0 70.0 4.40
Nov. 2 3 25 70.7 50.3 60.5 3.88
Dec. 4 7 20 67.1 44.6 55.8 1.76
Jan. 3 6 24 66.8 46.4 56.6 1.90
Feb. 1 1 31 73.8 51.8 63.8 2.24
March 42 81.9 57.1 69.5 1.38
Oct. 1 41 79.9 57.4 68.7 9.13
Nov. 2 3 26 76.2 55.6 65.9 0.74
Dec. 3 6 29 68.7 43.3 56.0 0.53
Jan. 2 8 29 70.8 47.4 59.1 1.84
Feb. 2 28 76.1 54.8 65.4 5.70
March 44 79.6 54.0 66.8 1.00
Oct. 1 58 83.9 62.5 73.2 1.51
Nov. 1 4 29 72.3 49.8 61.1 1.65
Dec. 1 6 30 69.2 46.0 57.6 3.33
Jan. 16 5 17 57.2 34.7 46.0 2.65
Feb. 3 7 29 65.8 44.5 55.5 4.17
March 4 35 73.0 50.0 61.7 2.89


In Table 2 the weather records7 are summarized for the dura-
tion of each trial. Low temperatures retarded growth of grass
and destroyed much of the green feed in the pastures. In 1937
the first killing frost occurred on November 21, but the cows
were not placed on test until November 27. Weight records show

SOfficial records of the U. S. Weather Bureau.






Roughages for Wintering the Beef Herd


that the cows lost considerable weight during this 6-day period.-
In 1938 and 1939 the cows were placed on test as soon as the
grass began to deteriorate. Table 2 shows that temperatures
below 330 F. occurred 10 times in Trial I, nine times in Trial II,
and 21 times in Trial III.
Results obtained from the 1937-38 wintering trial with mature
cows are given in Table 3.

TABLE 3.-FEED CONSUMED AND GAIN OR Loss IN WEIGH;' FOR CATTLE
WINTERED ON SUGARCANE SILAGE, SHOCKED SUGARCANE, AND IMPROVED
PASTURE AS ROUGHAGES, 1937-38 FEEDING TRIAL. (Test rah 105 days,
from November 27, 1937, to March 11, 1938.)

Lot 1 Lot 2 Lot 3

Roughages fed ...............------- -- ..-------- Sugarcane Shocked Improved
Silage Sugarcane Pasture
Number of cows ..........-.....-... ..... .... -10 10 10

pounds pounds pounds
Initial weight of cows ........................ 6,687 6,632 6,552
Final weight: Cows ..... ...............-....- 6,080 6,585 5,662
Calves* ..................-- .. 572 542 577
Total ........ ........... 6,652 7,127 6,239
Total gain or loss per lot ................... --35 495 -313
Average gain or loss per cow,
excluding calves ......................... -60.7 -4.7 --89
Average daily ration per cow:
Sugarcane silage .....-...-- .....-- 33.63
Shocked sugarcane ............ 32.85
Improved pasture .........- -- I -- Ad lib.
Cottonseed meal .............-. 2.42 2.42 2.42

Number of calves born during the trial: Lot 1, 6; Lot 2, 6; Lot 3, 6.

The wintering trial of 1938-39 was similar to that of 1937-38,
except that it was conducted for 113 instead of 105 days, and
there were only nine cows each in Lots 1 and 2 and 10 cows in
Lot 3. Table 4 gives the results of the second wintering trial.
The third wintering trials, 1939-40, extended for only 98 days,
as the supply of shocked sugarcane lasted only until February
22, 1940. There were 10 cows in each lot at the beginning of
the trial. A cow in Lot 1 became unthrifty and was removed
from the experiment. Results of the third wintering trial are
given in Table 5.
It is seen from Tables 3, 4 and 5 that the cows in Lots 1 and
2 in the third trial consumed greater quantities of roughage than






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE 4.-FEED CONSUMED AND GAIN OR Loss IN WEIGHT FOR CATTLE
WINTERED ON SUGARCANE SILAGE, SHOCKED SUGARCANE, AND IMPROVED
PASTURE AS ROUGHAGES, 1938-39 FEEDING TRIAL. (Test ran 113 days,
from November 18, 1938, to March 10, 1939.)


Roughages fed


Number of cows


Lot 1

.-...-.... Sugarcane
Silage

.... ........... 9


Initial weight of cows .........-
Final weight: Cows ......... -
Calves* ........- .
Total ............
Total gain or loss per lot ........
Average gain or loss per cow,
excluding calves ................
Average daily ration per cow:
Sugarcane silage .......
Shocked sugarcane ...
Improved pasture .......
Cottonseed meal .........


pounds

6,640
6,175
615
6,790
150

-51.7

34.45


2.26


Lot 2

Shocked
Sugarcane

9

pounds

6,710
6,240
740
6,980
270

-52.2


30.64

2.26


Lot 3

Improved
Pasture

10

pounds

7,282
6,840
765
7,605
323

-44.2



Ad lib.
2.31


Number of calves born during the trial: Lot 1. 5; Lot 2, 6; Lot 3, 6.


TABLE 5.-FEED CONSUMED AND GAIN OR Loss IN WEIGHT FOR CATTLE
WINTERED ON SUGARCANE SILAGE, SHOCKED SUGARCANE, AND IMPROVED
PASTURE AS ROUGHAGES, 1939-40 FEEDING TRIAL. (Test ran 98 days,
from November 17, 1939, to February 22, 1940.)


Roughages fed ............... ..............


Number of cows .................-.........



Initial weight of cows ..-..............
Final weight: Cows ..................
Calvest ...................
Total ..................
Total gain or loss per lot ...............
Average gain or loss per cow,
excluding calves ............--.......
Average daily ration per cow:
Sugarcane silage .............
Shocked sugarcane ........
Improved pasture ............
Cottonseed meal .............


Lot 1

..Sugarcane
Silage

9
..... 9

pounds

7,248
7,083
... 517
7,600
S 352

-18.3

46.43


....I 2.0


* One calf weighing 93 pounds included in initial weight.
t Number of calves born during trial: Lot 1. 4; Lot 2, 3; Lot 3, 3.


Lot 2

Shocked
Sugarcane

10

pounds

7,810
8,200
262
8,462
652

39


37.92

2.0


Lot 3

Improved
Pasture

10

pounds

7,917*
6,817
713
7,530
-387

-100.7



Ad lib.
2.11


I





Roughages for Wintering the Beef Herd


in the first two trials. Feed records show that the cows in these
two lots were on full feed for a shorter time than in the two
previous trials.


















Fig. 3.-Lot 2, fed shocked sugarcane, at the end of Trial III.

The cows in Lot 1 fed sugarcane silage and those in Lot 2
fed shocked sugarcane refused practically none of the cane, since
they were given only as much as they would consume at each
feeding. In Trial I all cows were fed the same amount of cotton-
seed meal, while in Trials II and III the cows in Lot 3 were fed
at a heavier rate during the last few weeks of each trial than
were the cows in Lots 1 and 2, due to the fact that these cows
were losing weight quite rapidly. By increasing slightly the
allowance of cottonseed meal in Lot 3 for the second and third
years an additional variable was introduced; however, it was
deemed advisable to increase the feed so that excessive loss in
weight might be prevented. The rate of cottonseed meal feed-
ing was lower during the first week than at the end of the
trial. Birth of calves towards the end of the three trials re-
duced the average weight of the cows and when this loss was
large the rate of cottonseed meal feeding was increased.
Cows on pasture were affected more by weather conditions
than were those in dry lot. In 1938-39 because of mild weather
there was considerable growth of grass and consequently a good
showing by Lot 3 in Trial II. This lot showed losses of 313
pounds in Trial I and 387 pounds in Trial III and a gain of 323





Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


pounds in Trial II. Weight records show that the cows on im-
proved pasture lost more weight in January than in any other
month. Observations during the various trials indicated that
cows placed on pasture carrying a growth of four or more inches
of grass lost much less weight during periods of continued cold
weather or frost than did those placed on pasture closely grazed.
The heavier covering of grass protected the young blades even
at temperatures as low as 17 F. The presence of some green
grass made the remainder more palatable and the cows consumed
larger amounts of roughage.


IAL


Fig. 4.-Lot 3, on improved pasture, at the end of Trial III.

A sample of carpet grass, containing dry and green blades,
collected on January 18, 1940, from the pasture on which the
experimental animals were being wintered showed the following
chemical composition:


Dry matter ................................-..
On a moisture-free basis:
Crude protein ........................-
Crude fiber ................. ..---.-
Nitrogen-free extract ......................
Crude fat .................. .........
A sh ............ ............. ........ ... ......


91.69 percent

5.45 percent
29.37 percent
58.35 percent
1.19 percent
5.64 percent





Roughages for Wintering the Beef Herd 15

Neal and Becker s found that living wiregrass collected from
an unburned range in March 1930 had the following chemical
composition:
On a moisture-free basis:
Crude protein ...................................... 4.26 percent
Crude fiber .............................. ...... 33.85 percent
Nitrogen-free extract .................. 56.99 percent
Crude fat .... .......... ...... ......... .. 1.80 percent
Ash ....... .... ..... ........... ....... ... .... 3.60 percent

These data show that carpet grass obtained in January 1940
after several severe frosts was slightly superior for grazing pur-
poses to living wiregrass obtained from an unburned range. In
grazing unburned wiregrass cows are unable to separate the
green and the dead grass. Thus feed from such areas would
be inferior to a well managed carpet grass pasture for winter
grazing.
Results of the three feeding trials are summarized in Table 6.

TABLE 6.-SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF THREE FEEDING TRIALS, SHOWING
GAIN OR LOSS PER LOT, AVERAGE GAIN OR LOSS PER COW, AND AVERAGE
DAILY RATION PER COW.

Lot 1 Lot 2 Lot 3

Roughages fed .................................. Sugarcane Shocked Improved
Silage Sugarcane Pasture

Total number of cows ........-... ... .- 28 29 30

Total number of calves ....... ....-....... 15 15 15

pounds pounds pounds

Total initial weight of cows ............... 20,575 21,152 21,751*
Total final weight: Cows ............... 19,338 21,025 19,319
Calves ............. 1,704 1,544 2,055
Total .................. 21,042 22,569 21,374
Total gain or loss per lot .................. 467 1,417 -377
Average gain or loss per lot for
each day on trial ....................... 1.48 4.48 -1.19
Average initial weight per cow ........ 735 729 722
Average final weight per cow ............ 691 725 644
Average gain or loss per cow,
excluding calves ........................... -44 -4 -78
Average final weight of calves ......... 114 103 137
Average daily ration per cow:
Sugarcane silage .............. 38.05
Shocked sugarcane ........... 33.75
Improved pasture ........... -- Ad lib.
Cottonseed meal .................... 2.21 2.21 2.26
One calf weighing 93 pounds included in initial weight.

SNeal, W. M., and R. B. Becker. The Composition of Foodstuffs in Rela-
tion to Nutritional Anemia in Cattle. Jour. Agr. Res. 47:249-255. 1933.





Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


It is seen from Table 6 that Lot 1 in the three trials made a
total gain of 467 pounds; Lot 2, 1417 pounds; and Lot 3 lost 377
pounds. Total average daily gain for the lots were as follows:
Lot 1, 1.48 pounds; Lot 2, 4.48 pounds, and Lot 3 lost 1.19 pounds.
The average loss in weight per cow (exclusive of weight of calves
dropped) was: For Lot 1, fed sugarcane silage, 44 pounds; Lot
2, fed shocked sugarcane, 4 pounds; and Lot 3, on carpet grass
pasture, 78 pounds.
In the three feeding trials the cows in Lot 2 consumed on
the average 33.75 pounds of shocked cut sugarcane daily. One
ton of sugarcane at the above rate of feeding would furnish
roughage for one cow for 59 days. Thus an acre of sugarcane
yielding 30 tons of cane would supply sufficient roughage for
1,770 cow-days or roughage for 20 cows for 88.5 days. Under
farm or range management where cattle obtain at least one-half
the necessary roughage for maintenance by grazing, 30 tons
of shocked sugarcane would be ample to furnish supplemental
roughage for 40 cattle for 88.5 days. Storing sugarcane by
shocking or stacking against upright supports provides a pala-
table winter roughage for beef cattle at a minimum cost.
Under favorable weather conditions mature cows maintain
their weight when kept on good crarpet grass pasture and fed
a small quantity of cottonseed meal. During winters when low
temperatures retard the growth and destroy much of the green
feed in the pasture it is advisable to provide additional roughage.
A combination of carpet grass and shocked or stacked sugarcane
would ensure sufficient roughage to meet the requirements of
mature cattle.

COMPOSITION OF SUGARCANE SILAGE AND
SHOCKED SUGARCANE
Table 7 gives the composition of sugarcane silage fed in the
three trials and the shocked sugarcane fed in Trials II and III.
On the average the shocked sugarcane as fed freshly-cut con-
tained 10.09 percent more dry matter than did the sugarcane
silage, while on a dry matter basis the shocked sugarcane con-
tained 10.75 percent less fiber and 14.39 percent more nitrogen-
free extract. In Table 6 it is shown that the cows.in Lot 1
consumed on the average 38.05 pounds of sugarcane silage per
day and the cows in Lot 2 consumed 33.75 pounds of shocked
sugarcane. On a dry matter basis the cows received 7.90 pounds





Roughages for Wintering the Beef Herd


from the sugarcane silage and 10.41 pounds from the shocked
sugarcane.
TABLE 7.-AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF SUGARCANE SILAGE AND SHOCKED
SUGARCANE.
I Nitro-
Dry Crude Crude Igen-free Crude Ash
IMatter Protein Fiber IExtract Fat
Percent percent percent i percent I percent percent
Dry Matter Basis

Sugarcane silage
1937-38 .............. .. 18.04 3.62 43.30 46.31 2.25 4.52
1938-39 ... ............. 23.80 3.90 37.70 51.90 2.90 3.60
1939-40 ................. 20.45 5.04 39.08 49.71 2.57 3.60
Average ................. 20.76 4.19 40.03 49.31 2.57 3.91

Shocked sugarcane*
1938-39 ..............- 30.90 3.30 29.40 63.10 1.70 2.50
1939-40 ................... 30.80 3.08 29.16 64.29 1.35 2.12
Average ......-....... 30.85 3.19 29.28 63.70 1.53 2.31
Cayana 10 variety fed in 1938-39; Cayana 10 and F31-762 fed in 1939-40.

Neal conducted two digestion trials with steers and deter-
mined the digestive coefficients of sugarcane silage and shocked
sugarcane. He calculated that 100 pounds of sugarcane silage
with 21.4 percent dry matter contained 9.8 pounds of total di-
gestible nutrients and shocked sugarcane with 30.75 percent dry
matter had 17.75 pounds total digestible nutrients. On this
basis the average daily intake per cow of total digestible nutri-
ents was 3.62 pounds for Lot 1 and 6.01 pounds for Lot 2; a
difference of 2.39 pounds daily per cow in favor of Lot 2. In
the three trials Lot 1 received 10,675 pounds of total digestible
nutrients from sugarcane silage and Lot 2 received 18,312 from
shocked sugarcane. Thus Lot 2 consumed 7,637 pounds more
total digestible nutrients than did Lot 1, and made a total gain
of 1,417 pounds in the three trials, compared with 467 pounds
for Lot 1. Since the cows in Lot 3 had free access to pasture
an estimate of the nutrients obtained from the roughage fed
could not be made.

MINERAL CONSUMPTION
The average consumption per cow of steamed bone meal, "salt
sick" mineral and common salt for 100 days is given in Table 8.

SNeal, W. M. Unpublished data, Florida Experiment Station.





Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE 8.-AVERAGE CONSUMPTION OF MINERALS (POUNDS PER COW) FOR
100 DAYS.

Lot 1 Lot 2 Lot 3

Steamed bone meal ........ .............4... 4.80 4.09 3.33
"Salt sick" mineral ............................. 4.92 4.56 3.35
Common salt ............... ...-... ...... 4.92 4.96 3.45


It is seen from Table 8 that the cows fed sugarcane silage
consumed slightly more steamed bone meal and "salt sick" min-
eral than did those fed shocked sugarcane. The consumption
of minerals by the cows on improved pasture was approximately
seven-tenths as much as that of the cows in dry lot.

CONCLUSIONS
Sugarcane harvested from November 1 to 10 can be kept in
good condition for feeding for four and one-half months by
shocking in round shocks of approximately one ton green weight.
Sugarcane stacked with butts on the ground to a depth of
20 feet against upright supports is a practical method of storage.
If the cane is to be used within a few weeks after harvesting it
can be stacked to a greater depth than 20 feet. This method
is to be recommended when large quantities are to be stored.
Putting whole canes in a trench silo and covering with earth
or banking stripped cane is not considered satisfactory for stor-
ing sugarcane for winter feeding.
Sugarcane silage can be kept from year to year in a trench
silo and used as a reserve feed supply in periods of scarcity.
There was less refusal when sugarcane was cut into 1-inch or
1/2-inch pieces before feeding. Mature cows did not eat the
sugarcane readily when it was cut into 2-inch pieces or longer.
There was a large amount of waste when whole canes were
fed. This was not considered a practical method of feeding
sugarcane.
Mature cows fed shocked sugarcane as the only source of
roughage in three wintering trials remained in a thriftier condi-
tion than did those fed sugarcane silage or grazing carpet grass.
A reserve supply of carpet grass for winter grazing can be
obtained by controlled grazing of the grass during the late sum-





Roughages for Wintering the Beef Herd 19

mer and earlier fall months. At least three acres of good carpet
grass will be required to provide sufficient roughage for winter-
ing a mature cow.
Chemical analyses showed that shocked sugarcane, on the
average, contained 10.09 percent more dry matter than did sugar-
cane silage, while on a dry matter basis the shocked sugarcane
had 10.75 percent less fiber and 14.39 percent more nitrogen-free
extract.




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs