WEST FLORIDA EXPERIMENT STATION MAY 9 1969
I.F.A.S. Univ. of Florida
WFESMimeo Report 69-1 ---
PROGRAMS FOR GROWING STOCKER BEEF CALVES USING'1
SORGHUM SILAGE, FESCUE, WHEAT, AND RYE ]1/ 2-/
J. E. Bertrand --
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, only about one-fourth of
the fed beef consumed in Florida is produced by feedlots in the stat;. 'A problem
facing the feeding industry in the state is the lack of a year round supply of 600
to 800 lb. feeder calves to furnish the 150,000+ heAd fattened yearly in fe-. lo-t.-
Figures released by the Florida Department of Agriculture show that approxi-
mately 800,000 calves were produced in the state in 1967. The majority of these
calves was either shipped out of state or slaughtered at very light weights (300
lb. or less).
The calves are being produced in Florida in more than sufficient quantity. If
the feedlot .industry is to ever grow to sufficient size to furnish a supply of fed
beef, that.will even approach the demand for this beef within the state, a large
number of these light-weight (300 Ib.) calves will have to be developed to heavier
weights (600 to 8,00 lb.) before going into the feedlots for finishing.
A study was initiated in the fall of 1967 at the West Florida Experiment
Station to evaluate five (5) different cool-season programs for growing fall-weaned
calves (300-400 lb.) to desired feedlot weights.
Eighty fall-weaned, good quality Hereford, Angus, and crossbred (Angus X
Hereford) calyvs, averaging 330 pounds were weighed and allowed as equally as
possible to 10 experimental groups of eight calves (seven steers and one heifer)
each. The 10 experimental groups, utilizing two replications per treatment, were
assigned to the five different cool-season feeding regimes as follows:
1/ Presented at the 1969 Beef Cattle Short Course, University of Florida,
2/ The air-tight, glass-lined silo for the storage of the high-moistdre corn was
donated by the A. 0. Smith Harvestore Products, Inc., Arlington Heights,
-/ Associate Animal Scientist.
1. Sorghum silage + concentrate supplement (protein, mineral, vitamin) in
2. Sorghum silage + high-moisture corn + concentrate supplemeint (protein,
mineral, vitamin) in drylot.,
3. Tall fescue and wheat grazed in rotation (supplemented with a 12% crude
protein high-energy supplement fed at the level of 1% of bodyweight).
Two plots of 1.25 acres:each (2.5 acres total) of tall fescue and two
plots of 1.25 acres each (2.5 acres total) of wheat for each replicate
containing eight calves.
4. Tall fescue and
1.25, acres each
acres each (2.5
5. Tall fescue and
1.25 acres each
acres each (2.5
wheat grazed in rotation (unsupplemented). Two plots of
(2.5 acres total) of tall fescue and two plots of 1.25
acres total) of.wheat for each replicate containingb fight
rye grazed in rotation (unsupplemented). Two plots of
(2.5 acres total) of tall fescue and two plots of 1.25.
acres total) of rye for each replicate c6nttining eight
SAfter an overnight shrink (fast from feed and Water), individual animal weights
were taken at the beginning andendn of the trial. Group weights were obtained on
all groups every 28 days at approximately the same time of day on each weighing
date. The feed allowance for.,the next 28 days for the supplemented groups on
pasture was determined on a basis of the previous 28-day weights.
The animals being fed in drylot on the iwo feeding regimds containing sorghum
silage were fed once daily in an amount of feed that they would clean-up between
Each group of calves on pasture was rotated between the pasture plots of the
grass species assigned to them as required for best utilization of good quality
The compositions and costs of the concentrate supplement proteinn,
vitamin) and the pasture supplemental ration are presented in Table'1.
proximate components of the feeds and forages consumed during the trial
listed in Table 2.
The performance and economic data for ,the five feeding regimes are listed in
Table 3. Animals fed sorghum silage, a concentrate supplement, and high-moisture
corn (approximately 3 lb./head/day) in drylot had the largest gain (1.77 lb./head/
day) for the 173-day period, followed in order by the gain (1.63 lb./head/day) of
supplemented animals grazing tall fescue and wheat in rotation, the gain (1.54
Ib./head/day) of animals fed sorghum silage and a concentrate supplement in drylot,
the gain (1.38 lb./head/day) of unsupplemented animals grazing tall fescue and rye
in rotation, and the gain (1.10 lb./head/day) of unsupplemented animals grazing
tall fescue and whnet in rotation.
Except for the unusually good gain, due to exceptionally good stands of both
rye and tall fescue, and the resulting cheap cost of gain ($14.43/cwt.) for the
unsupplemented steers grazing tall fescue and rye in rotation, the cheapest gain
($17.17/cwt.) was produced by the animals fed sorghum silage and a concentrate
supplement (Table 3).
It can be noted in Table 3 that the profit per head ($22.77) was highest for
the unsupplemented animals grazing tall fescue and rye in rotation, followed in
order in amount of profit per head by the animals fed sorghum silage, a concentrate
supplement, and high-moisture corn in drylot ($20.39), the animals fed sorghum
silage and a concentrate supplement in drylot ($18i50), the supplemented animals
grazing tall fescue and wheat in rotation ($14.63), and the unsupplemented animals
grazing tall fescue and wheat in rotation ($11.57).
Composition and Cost of the Concentrate Supplement (Protein,
Mineral, Vitamin) and the Pasture Supplemental Ration
Ground grain sorghum
Soybean meal (44% protein)
Urea 45% N
Defluorinated rock phosphate
Vitamin A supplement
Zinc bacitracin supplement
% Lb./ton Cost(c)
---------- ------- -------
82.800 1656.0 $72.53
4.150 83.0 4.32
4.150 83.0 1.88
8.300 166.0 7.47
0.075(d) 1.5 0.60
0.525(e) 10.5 4.73
100.000 2000.0 $91.53
Pasture supp. ration(b)
% Lb./ton Cost(c)
97.15 1943 $40.80
--------- ------- -------
0.20 4 0.21
0.50 10 0.23
2.00 40 1.80
+ (f) + 0.18
0.15(g) 3 1.35
100.00 2000 $44.57
(a) Concentrate supplement (protein, mineral, vitamin) fed in silage rations.
(b) Supplemental ration fed on pasture at level of 1% of bodyweight.
(c) Based on the following prices: ground grain sorghum = $42.00/ton, soybean
meal (44% protein) = $87.50/ton, urea 45% N = $104.00/ton, salt (trace-
mineralized) = $2.27/cwt., defluorinated rock phosphate = $90.00/ton, Perma-
Dual 30A (vitamin A supplement containing 30,000 I.U./gm.) = $0.40/lb., and
Bacifern 10 (zinc bacitracin supplement containing 10 grams of the antibiotic
per pound) = $0.45/lb.
(d) Added at the level of 20.4 million I.U./ton or 10,200 I.U./lb. of concentrate
(e) Zinc bacitracin added at the level of 105 gm./ton or 52.5 mg./lb. of
(f) Added at the level of 6 million I.U./ton or 3,000 I.U./lb. of pasture supple-
(g) Zinc bacitracin added at the level of 30 gm./ton or 15 mg./lb. of pasture
(h) Mixing, milling, overage, etc. --- $7.00/ton.
'Certain Proximate COmponents pf'tFe Feeds and Forages
Consumed During the Trial Period
S Cone, Pasture Wheat for Rye for Tall fescue H.M. Sorghum
supp. supp. grazing grazing for grazing corn silage
(a) (b) ( ( (c) (d) (e) (7)
Dry matter, % 91.80 90.00 19.47 17.46 29.52 75,38 32.97
Crude protein, % 46.42 11.89 4.84 i 4.52 5.36 9.00 2.43
Crude fiber, % 7.03 3'.07 4.13 3.68 ;7.68 2.83 8.67
(a) Concentrate supplement (protein, mineral, vitamin) fed in silage rations
(average of four sampled collected at intervals during the trial).
(b) 'Ration fed on pasture at level of 1% of bodyweight (average of four samples
collected at intervals during the trial). .,:
(c) Average of three hand plucked samples collected at intervals during the
(d) Average of eight hand plucked samples collected at intervals during the
(e) High-moisture corn (average of four'samples collected at intervals during
(f) Average of four samples collected at intervals during ,the trial.
. . .
Evaluation of Five Different Cool-Season Feeding Regimes for Growing
Stocker Beef Calves in Northwest Florida (1967-68)
_i(a) I(b) (c). i(d) V(e)
No. of animals .. .... .. 16(f) 15(f)(g) ..16(f) 16(f) 16(f)
Length of trial, days 173 173 173 173 173
Av. initial wt., lb. 330.6 329.3 328.4 339.4 323.4
Av. final wt., lb. 597.2 635.7 609.7 530.3 561.9
Av. gain/animal, lb. 266.6 306.4 281.3' 190.9 238.5
Av. daily gain, lb. 1.54 1.77 1.63 1.10 1.38
High-moisture corn ...
276.6 ---- --------
276.6 ------ --------
Feed cost/cwt. gain
Av. cost/head of feeder(n)
Av. feed cost/head of feeder
Total cost/head of feeder(o)
Profit per head
$ 8.89 --- -- ---- -----
$ '5.05 ---- ----- -----
$ 3.70 ----- ----- -----
------- $ 7.14 ------- ------
----- ---- $ 11.85 $ 17.45 $ 14.43
$ 17.64 $ 18.99 $ 17.45 $ 14.43
$ 87.66- $ 87.42 '$'90.35 $ 86.09
$ 54.05 -$' 33.42 $ 33.31 $ 34.42
$ 141.71 $140.84 $123.66 $120.51
$ 162.10 $155.47 $135.23 $143.28
+$ 20.39 +$ 14.63 +$ 11.57 +$ 22.77
(a) Treatment I sorghum silage + concentrate supplement (protein, mineral,
vitamin) in drylot.
(b) Treatment II sorghum silage + concentrate supplement (protein, mineral,
vitamin) + high-moisture corn in drylot.
(c) Treatment III tall fescue and wheat grazed in rotation --- pasture supple-
mental ration was fed at the level of 1% of bodyweight.
(d) Treatment IV tall fescue and wheat grazed in rotation --- unsupplemented.
(e) Treatment V tall fescue and rye grazed in rotation --- unsupplemented.
(f) Two pens of eight animals (seven steers and one heifer) each per treatment
(g) One animal broke a leg during the course of the experiment; the data for that
animal were disregarded.
(h) Does not include pasture.
(i) Sorghum silage = $10.00/ton.
(j) Concentrate supplement (protein, mineral, vitamin) = $98.53/ton.
(k) High-moisture corn = $44.00/ton.
(1) Pasture supplemental ration = $51.57/ton.
(m) Pasture cost = $61.25/acre for tall fescue, $45.38/acre for wheat, and
$48.88/acre for rye.
(n) Feeder cost = $26.62/cwt. (includes initial cost of animals, hauling, and
(o) Does not Include labor.
(p) Based on an animal value of $25.50/cwt. at the end of the trial.
- -- ___~ ___-e
-- --- --------I---- I---------
Multiple Range .Test between Group Means
Daily Gain) for the Five Feeding Regimes
Treatments Means 1% level a)
(b) 1.77 a
III ,, 1.63, a,.b
(1d) 1.54 a, b
V(e) 1.38 b, c
1.38 d ; '
(a) Denotes statistical significance at the 1 percent:'
level. Means followed by letter "a" are signifi- ''
cantly different from those means not having "a'",
those followed by "b" are significantly different'
from those not having "b", etc.
(b) Treatment II sorghum silage + concentrate supple-
ment (protein, mineral, vitamin) + high-moisture
corn in drylot.
(c) Treatment III tall fescue and wheat grazed .in
rotation ---,,pasture supplemental ration was fed at
the level of 1% of bodyweight.
(d) Treatment I sorghum silage + concentrate supple-
,ment (protein, mineral, vitamin) in drylot.
:(e) Treatment V tall fescue and rye grazed in
rotation --- unsupplemented.
(f) Treatment IV tall fescue and wheat grazed in
S rotation --- unsupplemented.