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 Copyright
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Experimental procedure
 Experimental data
 Forage requirements
 Discussion
 Summary and conclusions
 Literature cited






Group Title: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Title: Year-round grazing on a combination of native and improved pasture
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028135/00001
 Material Information
Title: Year-round grazing on a combination of native and improved pasture
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 13 p. : ill., map ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Jones, D. W ( David W. ), 1918-
Hodges, E. M ( Elver M )
Kirk, W. G
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1954
 Subjects
Subject: Grazing -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Pastures -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 13).
Statement of Responsibility: D.W. Jones, E.M. Hodges and W.G. Kirk.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "A contribution from the Range Cattle Station."
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028135
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 18277388

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    Introduction
        Page 3
    Experimental procedure
        Page 4
    Experimental data
        Page 5
    Forage requirements
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Discussion
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 12
    Literature cited
        Page 13
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







November 1954


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
WILLARD M. FIFIELD, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
(A Contribution from the Range Cattle Station)







Year-Round Grazing on a Combination of

Native and Improved Pasture


D. W. JONES, E. M. HODGES and W. G. KIRK
Range Cattle Experiment Station, Ona, Florida






Fig. 1.-Cows grazing hairy indigo in late October. The indigo was
fully matured and the most palatable portions of the plants were con-
sumed.


Bulletin 554







-Canals
saa Road
X Mineral Box
Z Water
Q Wooded Area


Wooded Area


0
IIc~
II


Z Water
X Mineral Box

99I


Fig. 2.-Map showing arrangement of native and improved pasture areas.










Year-Round Grazing on a Combination of

Native and Improved Pasture

D. W. JONES, E. M. HODGES and W. G. KIRK

CONTENTS
Page
Introduction ....... ............. ................- 3
Experimental Procedure .................................. 4
Experimental Data ...................................... 5
Forage Requirements ....................... ..... ....- 6
D discussion ............. ...... ..... ..... .... 9
Summary and Conclusions ................................... 12

INTRODUCTION
There have been cattle in Florida for more than four centuries
but only within the past three decades have they assumed a
role of prominence in the beef supply of the nation. Several
factors have contributed to this expansion. The most important
has been the establishment of large areas of improved pasture.
Efficient utilization of both native and improved areas in com-
bination is a major problem.
Cattle on native range have good grazing in the spring and
summer months but the forage is low in both quality and quan-
tity during the fall and winter seasons. Records (7)1 show
that with the breeding herd large weight losses, high mortality
and a low percentage calf crop are the result of poor feed con-
ditions which are magnified in severe winters or when the pas-
tures are overstocked. A more uniform supply Of high quality
forage is needed throughout the year to reduce these losses
in cattle production.
Pastures in Florida have a definite growing season, making
them not unlike those of other sections of the United States.
Most of the grasses are tropical and semi-tropical in origin and
their rate of growth is reduced when temperatures drop below
70 F. 'Moisture extremes frequently limit production of pas-
ture forage. Experiments have shown that fertilization can
be used to 'increase both quantity and quality of forage as well
as to influence the time of year in which a pasture provides
feed (2,3, 4, 5).
Figures in parentheses refer to Literature Cited.










Year-Round Grazing on a Combination of

Native and Improved Pasture

D. W. JONES, E. M. HODGES and W. G. KIRK

CONTENTS
Page
Introduction ....... ............. ................- 3
Experimental Procedure .................................. 4
Experimental Data ...................................... 5
Forage Requirements ....................... ..... ....- 6
D discussion ............. ...... ..... ..... .... 9
Summary and Conclusions ................................... 12

INTRODUCTION
There have been cattle in Florida for more than four centuries
but only within the past three decades have they assumed a
role of prominence in the beef supply of the nation. Several
factors have contributed to this expansion. The most important
has been the establishment of large areas of improved pasture.
Efficient utilization of both native and improved areas in com-
bination is a major problem.
Cattle on native range have good grazing in the spring and
summer months but the forage is low in both quality and quan-
tity during the fall and winter seasons. Records (7)1 show
that with the breeding herd large weight losses, high mortality
and a low percentage calf crop are the result of poor feed con-
ditions which are magnified in severe winters or when the pas-
tures are overstocked. A more uniform supply Of high quality
forage is needed throughout the year to reduce these losses
in cattle production.
Pastures in Florida have a definite growing season, making
them not unlike those of other sections of the United States.
Most of the grasses are tropical and semi-tropical in origin and
their rate of growth is reduced when temperatures drop below
70 F. 'Moisture extremes frequently limit production of pas-
ture forage. Experiments have shown that fertilization can
be used to 'increase both quantity and quality of forage as well
as to influence the time of year in which a pasture provides
feed (2,3, 4, 5).
Figures in parentheses refer to Literature Cited.








Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

A practical method of management of a combination native
and improved pasture to provide near-optimum utilization of
forage and yet maintain a breeding herd in good production
throughout the year was studied at the Range Cattle Station
from 1947 to 1952.
The area selected for this experiment consisted of 400 acres,
80 acres of which were improved pasture and 320 acres were
unimproved native range, Fig. 2. The native range was cut-
over pine land with vegetation consisting primarily of wire-
grass, broad-leafed grasses, palmettos and pines. Soils of the
area were fine sands, being predominantly Leon and Immokalee
with some associated series.

TABLE 1.-FERTILIZATION OF IMPROVED PASTURES.


61


62A


621


631


64


Field No. Kin

Common
Bahia, C
SHairy in

A* Pangola


3 Pangola


A and 63B Pensacol
clover

Coastal


d of Forage

and Pensacola
arpet grass-
digo


a Bahia-Hubam


Bermuda


Annual Fertilization

500 pounds per acre 0-14-14
in spring

350 pounds per acre 9-6-6
in spring and 25-30 pounds
N in fall

25-30 pounds per acre N in
spring and 350 pounds 9-6-6
in fall

500 pounds per acre 0-14-14
in fall and 250 pounds 0-8-24
in spring

350 pounds per acre 9-6-6 in
spring and 25-30 N in fall.


Fields 62 and 63 were divided into sections A and B in 1949. This permitted more
efficient utilization of these pastures, resulting in a more uniform supply of nutritious forage
during the winter and spring months.

The 80 acres of improved pasture were divided into four 20-
acre fields, two of which were subdivided into 10-acre areas in
1949 to permit more efficient utilization of the forage. The
improved areas received lime, one ton per acre for grass (5)
and two for clover (6), and a minor element treatment con-
sisting of 20 pounds per acre of both copper and manganese
sulfates and 15 pounds of zinc sulfate. Borax was added at the
rate of 10 pounds per acre where clover was grown. The forage







Year-Round Grazing on Native and Improved Pasture 5

planting and annual fertilization of the improved pastures are
shown in Table 1. The native pasture was given no treatment
other than one-half being burned each year. Eighty acres were
burned in early December and 80 acres in late January of each
winter.
Cattle had continuous access to the native land but were
allowed to graze only one planted pasture at a time. The im-
proved pastures were used on a rotational basis, with grazing
being deferred on some during the fall to provide a reserve of
feed for the winter.
Forage yields were not obtained but animal performance rec-
ords, observations and comparisons with other areas were used
to derive estimates of forage production of the various pastures.
A herd of 65 mature cows and two-year-old heifers was kept
on this area during the five-year period. These cattle were
mostly grade Brahman with a few grade Devon, Hereford and
Shorthorn. The cows all traced back to native cattle within one
to four generations. One purebred Brahman bull was used
during the April 8 to August 8 breeding season. Weights of
the cattle were obtained at 28-day intervals and birth and
weaning weights of calves were recorded. Calves were graded
as slaughter animals at weaning time.
Cattle were given no supplemental feeding during the period
of study but had access at all times to Range Station complete
mineral mixture (1), consisting of the following ingredients:

Steamed bonemeal ...................................... .. 29.00 pounds
Defluorinated phosphate ................................. 29.00 pounds
Common salt .................................................. 33.89 pounds
Red oxide of iron ........................................ ..... 3.39 pounds
Copper sulfate, pulverized ................... .......... 0.68 pounds
Cobalt sulfate ...................................... ........ ..... 0.04 pounds
Cane molasses ...................... ....... 2.00 pounds
Cottonseed meal ...................................... ...... 2.00 pounds

EXPERIMENTAL DATA
Figure 3 is a graphic representation of forage furnished sea-
sonally by each pasture. The periods when no animals were on
a pasture designate that grazing was being deferred and the
forage reserved for fall or winter feed.
This 400-acre area provided feed through the year for the
65 cows and their calves until weaned and for the bull during
the April-August breeding season. The cows of breeding age
averaged an 80 percent yearly calf crop during the five-year
period 1948 to 1952, inclusive. The first calves were born about








Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


January 13 and and all were on the ground by May 20. Calves
from this herd averaged 425 pounds when weaned at six to
eight months of age and graded U. S. Good as slaughter animals.
The cows had average weights of 907 pounds in December,
848 pounds in March, 871 in June and 881 in September. The
herd was maintained in a thrifty condition at all times and no
death losses were encountered during the experimental period.


NATIVE
(60)


BAHIA-INDIGO
(61)


PANGOLA
62A 62B



PENSACOLA BAHIA-
CLOVER
63A 63B

COASTAL
(64)

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Fig. 3.-Estimated amount of forage furnished by each pasture division
throughout the year. (Vertical space in each division equals grazing for
two animal units per acre.)

A temporary feature was the harvesting of Pensacola Bahia
seed and hay during the summer months. Yields of 50 to 75
pounds per acre of Bahia seed were harvested during the sum-
mers of 1949 through 1952 from fields 61 and 63. About 300
bales of low quality Pensacola Bahia hay were harvested from
Field 63 in 1950.

FORAGE REQUIREMENTS

The forage requirement of a breeding herd varies from sea-
son to season, depending on the stage of lactation of the cows,
number and size of calves and whether or not the herd bull is
with the cattle. Anticipating this forage need is an important
step in planning pasture and cattle management.








Year-Round Grazing on Native and Improved Pasture 7

The calculated forage requirement from Morrison (8) for the
65 cows in this herd, 52 calves until weaned at about 7 months
of age and the bull during the breeding season is illustrated in
Fig. 4. An animal feed unit is considered as the feed require-
ment of a 900-pound cow during November and December. The
animal units of feed required by this herd during the year are
given in Table 2. Morrison (8) states that a 900-pound preg-
nant cow requires about 16 pounds dry matter, providing 0.7
pounds digestible protein and 8.4 pounds total digestible nutri-
ents (TDN) per day. In the four months after calving this
same cow needs 22 pounds dry matter daily, providing 1.2
pounds digestible protein and 12.5 pounds TDN. On this basis,
the cows in the experiment required the equivalent of 65 animal-
feed units in November and December, increasing to 88 ani-
mal-feed units in June, the highest for any month. This was
followed by a steady decline in feed units until all the calves
were weaned in October.

100
95-
90- Total Feed Consumption.
85
80
75
70- Requirement of Cows
65
Z 6o-
S55
50o-
45-
40-
Z 35-
30-
25-
20- Requirement of Calves-
15
10 -
5 f,- Requirement of Bull\
JAN' FEB 'MAR' APR 'MAY' JUN'JUL AUG SEP 'OCT NOV' DEC

TIME IN MONTHS

Fig. 4.-Feed required (calculated from Morrison (8)) to maintain a
65-cow herd, 52 calves from birth to weaning and a bull during the four-
month breeding season.








Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


The dot-dash line, Fig. 4, indicates the feed units needed by
the calves. The calves born in January began to graze in Feb-
ruary and the amount of feed required by the calves increased
steadily as more calves were born and as they grew in size. It
is estimated that the 52 calves in September required feed equiv-
alent to that eaten by 26 cow units, Table 2. The calves born
from January 15 to March 6 were weaned the last of September
and the younger calves were weaned in late October, with an
average weaning age for all calves of 205 days.
The bull was placed with the herd in April and removed four
months later. The forage needed by the bull is shown by the
dotted line at the bottom of Fig. 4.

TABLE 2.-CALCULATED FEED REQUIREMENT FOR A 65-Cow HERD, 52
CALVES FROM BIRTH TO WEANING AND A BULL DURING THE 4-MONTH
BREEDING SEASON.

Number of Animals Animal Feed Units
Cows' Calves I Bulls4 I Cows Calves Bull Total

January 65 10 0 66 0 0 66
February 65 25 0 70 0 0 70
March 65 40 0 74 1 0 75
April 65 48 1 78 3.5 1.5 83
May 65 52 1 83 6.5 1.5 91
June 65 52 1 88 10.5 1.5 100
July 65 52 1 83 14.5 1.5 99
August 65 52 0 78 20 0 98
September 65 52' 0 73 26 0 99
October 65 12' 0 67 6 0 73
November 65 0 0 65 0 0 65
December 65 | 0 0 65 0 0 65

1 Calculated from Morrison (8).
SAverage weight of cows 900 pounds in December. No death losses as all cows were
thrifty.
3 Eighty percent calf crop or an average of 52 calves yearly.
One-Bull herd. Breeding season (4 months) April through August.
SFeed unit is 'the amount of feed eaten by a cow in November and December. Feed eaten
by bull is equal to that eaten by 1.5 cows. Calves weighing 400 pounds or more require one-
half as much feed as one cow.
6 An average of 40 calves were weaned September 30 and 12 weaned October 31 of each
year.

The number of cattle in the herd and animal-feed unit require-
ments at monthly intervals are given in Table 2. The total feed
requirement ranged from 65 units in November to 100 in June.
It was estimated that 1,040 pounds of dry matter, 45.5 pounds
digestible protein and 546 pounds TDN daily were required in
November to maintain this herd of 65 cows. In June it took over
1,600 pounds dry matter, 70 pounds digestible protein and 840
pounds of TDN each day to support the 65 cows, 52 calves and
1 bull.







Year-Rpund Grazing on Native and Improved Pasture 9

DISCUSSION
This herd of cattle was supported by five acres of native
range and 1.2 acres of improved pasture per cow without any
supplemental feeding. Cattle weights were maintained during
the winter with the exception of normal declines following calv-
ing. It has been considered generally that about 15 acres of
native range is needed to support one cow weighing 800 to 900
pounds. On this basis it appeared that one acre of well main-
tained improved pasture replaced 8 to 10 acres of native range
and provided higher quality feed over a much larger portion of
the year, resulting in a larger calf crop and heavier and higher-
grading calves at weaning.
The native range, field 60, provided a small amount of forage
from September until the last of March (Fig. 5). In April and
part of May this type of pasture increased slightly in both
quality and quantity of forage produced, remaining about con-
stant until July, when it started to decline, reaching the lowest
level of productivity by late fall.
The Bahia-indigo, field 61, was not grazed from late May until
the last of August, this being the season when Hairy indigo
made its growth. It was reserved for late summer and fall graz-
ing (Fig. 1). This pasture was grazed intermittently through
the fall and winter and provided a substantial amount of for-
age from March to early May.

Fig. 5.-Native range burned in mid-winter provides a small amount of
highly nutritious forage.







S... -..
+~







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Pangola, fields 62A and 62B, was fertilized twice annually,
as shown in Table 1, once in May and again about October 1.
An increase in forage was noted following the May fertiliza-
tion, the peak of production after this treatment being reached
late in June and followed by a gradual decline in growth until
the fall fertilization. After fall fertilization the areas were
reserved until December, at which time there was about one
month of good grazing for the 65 cows before most of the feed
was consumed and the carrying capacity of the area greatly
reduced.
The Hubam sweet clover in fields 63A and 63B was usually
ready for grazing about the first of February. The herd was
allowed to graze this pasture only two to four hours daily,
when the clover was young or weather conditions did not permit
rapid growth. This provided some forage high in protein and
prevented overgrazing of the Hubam. The clover was used to
offset the poor quality grass in the other fields and was largely
responsible for the good thrift of the herd at this season of the
year. The carrying capacity of the clover (Fig. 6) increased
until May, when it reached maturity. Following the clover the
Pensacola Bahia provided excellent quality forage. However, it
continually decreased in quality from July to October, when the
cattle were removed and the areas reseeded and refertilized (6).
Field 64, Coastal Bermuda, Fig. 7, was treated with a com-
plete fertilizer in March and given a nitrogen topdressing during
September. A peak of growth was reached in April and from
May until the September fertilization there was a steady decline

Fig. 6.-Hubam clover in February is valuable forage for the breeding herd.
















t -- ~.T.-- .. -.
A .~; .."""""""""~r
';-







Year-Round Grazing on Native and Improved Pasture 11

in carrying capacity. Cattle were removed from the area after
the September application of nitrogen and the field reserved
until November.
The Pangola and Pensacola-clover pastures were each sub-
divided into two fields in the summer of 1949 and used 10 acres
at a time. This permitted more complete utilization of the for-
age from these pastures, resulting in improved nutrition of the
herd.
A rotation period of 8 to 10 days was used when growth con-
ditions permitted and every effort was made to avoid overgraz-
ing. When the herd had eaten most of the feed in one of the
improved pastures they used the native range, always seeking
the best forage. It was estimated that the cattle obtained 30
to 40 percent of their feed from the native pasture and each
week some grazing was obtained from this area.
A reserve of feed was obtained by practicing rotational and
deferred grazing and by the application of fertilizer on part of
the established pastures three to six weeks before the cattle
needed the forage. Forage reserves were used up when there
was a period of several months with little or no rain, such
as occurred from April to June 1950. The 1950 calves weighed
an average of 30 pounds less at weaning than those born in
1949 and 1951, and the cows were in poorer flesh in October
because of the lack of feed from April to June. This was a

Fig. 7.-Cows and calves on Coastal Bermuda pasture in March.










Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


period when supplemental feeding would have been profitable
in a commercial herd.
It will be seen from Fig. 3 that the 400-acre pasture did not
produce the same amount of feed each month. Forage growth
is dependent upon moisture, plant food supply and temperature.
It will also be noted that the forage production does not at
all times match the requirement levels indicated in Fig. 4.
It would be possible to more nearly meet these requirements
by fertilization of more of the improved pastures in either the
summer or early fall, since this is the time of highest forage
consumption by cattle.
Table 2 shows that under this program the largest number
of animal units were on the pasture from June to September,
a period when the most forage was produced. As rate of forage
growth decreased, feed requirement of the cows was reduced
with advance in stage of lactation, with a large drop when the
calves were weaned in September and October. Removal of
calves further reduced the feed eaten by their mothers. This
resulted in a minimum feed requirement at the time of year,
November to January, when growth was lowest.
Cattle in this study ate an average of 9 to 12 pounds of com-
plete mineral mixture yearly, a low figure as compared with the
35 to 50 pounds per animal consumed in a pasture where all
feed was obtained from native range (1). This shows that the
forage available to the cattle grazing on a combination of na-
tive and improved pasture was of higher nutritional quality
than that obtained from native range.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Using native and improved pasture to supplement each other
is a management system that can be employed successfully.
The combination reduces the acreage required per cow as com-
pared with.native range and provides more feed of higher qual-
ity. Winter feed supply, the most critical shortcoming of the
native range, can be greatly increased by a deferred grazing
schedule. This additional feed greatly reduces weight declines
and death losses and increases the production of the herd.
The individual cattleman should determine the forage re-
quirement of the herd through the entire year and in addition
should study the production capabilities of his pastures. If
cattle needs exceed pasture performance the rancher has three
choices: first, increase forage supply; second, provide supple-








Year-Round Grazing on Native and Improved Pasture 13

mental feed; and third, reduce cattle numbers. Each pasture-
cattle unit is an individual problem in management, forage
production and cattle requirements and must be treated as such.
A workable balance between cattle needs and feed supply is vital
to the success of any pasture plan.

LITERATURE CITED

1. BECKER, R. B., P. T. Dix ARNOLD, W. G. KIRK, GEORGE K. DAVIS and R.
W. KIDDER. Minerals for Dairy and Beef Cattle. Fla. Agr. Exp.
Sta. Bul. 513. 1953.
2. BLASER, R. E., W. E. STOKES, J. D. WARNER, G. E. RITCHEY and G. B.
KILLINGER. Pastures in Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 409.
1945.
3. BLASER, R. E., R. S. GLASSCOCK, G. B. KILLINGER and W. E. STOKES.
Carpet Grass and Legume Pastures in Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta.
Bul. 453. 1952.
4. GAMMON, N., JR., W. G. BLUE, J. R. NELLER, D. W. JONES, H. W. LUNDY
and G. E. RITCHEY. Maintaining Fertility in Mineral Soils under
Permanent Pasture. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 515. 1953.
5. HODGES, E. M., D. W. JONES and W. G. KIRK. Grass Pastures in Cen-
tral Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul 484. 1951.
6. HODGES, E. M., D. W. JONES and W. G. KIRK. Winter Clovers in Central
Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 517. 1953.
7. KIRK, W. G., A. L. SHEALY and BRADFORD KNAPP, JR. Weight Changes
of Cattle on a Florida Range. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 418. 1945.
8. MORRISON, FRANK B. Feeds and Feeding. Morrison Publishing Com-
pany. 21st Edition. 1949.




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