Group Title: ARC research report - Jay Agricultural Research Center ; WF-83-4
Title: Warm-season perennial grasses for beef cattle
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Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053556/00001
 Material Information
Title: Warm-season perennial grasses for beef cattle
Series Title: Jay, ARC research report
Physical Description: 5 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bertrand, J. E ( Joseph Ezel ), 1924-
Dunavin, Leonard Sypret, 1930-
Agricultural Research Center, Jay
Publisher: Agricultural Research Center
Place of Publication: Jay Fla.
Publication Date: [1983]
 Subjects
Subject: Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Varieties -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Grasses -- Varieties -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: J.E. Bertrand and L.S. Dunavin.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "July, 1983"
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053556
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 62323940

Full Text





Agricultural Research Center

Jay, Florida 32565-9524

JAY, ARC RESEARCH REPORT WF-83-4 July, 1983

WARM-SEASON PERENNIAL PASTURE GRASSES FOR BEEF CATTLE

J. E. Bertrand and L. S. Dunavina

SUMMARY

Steers gained 0.84, 0.90, 1.09, and 0.96 lb./day, respectively, on Pensacola

bahiagrass (183 days), Callie bermudagrass (168 days), Tifton hybrid bermudagrass

72-81 (183 days), and Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84 (168 days). There were no

statistically significant differences among treatment means. The beef gain per

acre was highest (457 lb.) for steers grazing Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81

and lowest (312 lb.) for steers grazing Pensacola bahiagrass. Relative dry matter

production was 7,820, 9,030, 11,600, and 9,940 lb./acre by Pensacola bahiagrass,

Callie bermudagrass, Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81, and Tifton hybrid bermuda-

grass 72-84, respectively.

INTRODUCTION

Considerable interest has been shown by beef cattle producers in northwest

Florida in the use of improved warm-season perennial pastures. Promising new

cultivars of bermudagrasses that offer high yields and high quality forage for

beef cattle are now available or are presently being evaluated for release. These

bermudagrasses have potential for reducing the cost of beef production on warm-

season perennial pastures.

,. OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to evaluate warm-season perennial pasture

grasses (three bermudagrasses and Pensacola bahiagrass) with beef steers from the



aAnimal Scientist and Associate Agronomist, respectively, Agricultural Research

Center,,Jay, Florida 32565-9524.








standpoint of animal performance and forage characteristics. Relative dry matter

production is the only forage characteristic reported in this paper.

PROCEDURE

Thirty-two lightweight (average 530 lb.) feeder steers of British breeding

were allotted at random from breed and weight groups to four experimental groups

of eight steers each. Each steer was treated with a 36 mg ear implant of zeranol.

An experimental group of steers was assigned to each one of the four warm-season

perennial pasture grasses--(1) Pensacola bahiagrass, (2) Callie bermudagrass,

(3) Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81, and (4) Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84.

Each group of steers grazed four 1.25 acre plots of the pasture grass in a

rotational system.

Grazing began on May 4, 1982 with the.Pensacola bahiagrass and Tifton hybrid

bermudagrass 72-81 plots; while grazing began on May 19, 1982 with the Callie

bermudagrass and Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84 plots. Grazing on all plots

was terminated when the forage was essentially grazed down (November 3, 1982).

Additional grazer animals of the same type and size were added and removed as

needed to keep the forage uniformly consumed.

Individual steer weights were taken after an overnight shrink (fast from

feed an water) at the beginning and end of the trial periods.

In order to obtain relative dry matter production for each of the four grasses,

wire cages (4' X 4') were used. Three cages were placed at random in plots prior to

grazing and were removed after grazing for each rotation sequence. The forage under

the cages wasIclipped to approximately the same height that the steers had grazed

the surrounding forage. The clipped forage obtained under the three cages in a

plot was mixed and weighed and a representative sample was weighed, dried, and

reweighed.

A mineral mixture, plain salt, and clean drinking water were available to the

animals at all times.


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RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Performance data on pasture are presented in table 1. Beef steers grazing

Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81 gained 1.09 lb. per day for a period of 183

days, followed by a gain of 0.96 lb. per day for steers grazing Tifton hybrid

bermudagrass 72-84 for a period of 168 days, a gain of 0.90 lb. per day for steers

grazing Callie bermudagrass for a period of 168 days, and a gain of 0.84 lb. per

day for steers grazing Pensacola bahiagrass for a period of 183 days. There were

no statistically significant differences between treatment means. This was proba-

bly due to the large variation in individual observations on animal gain within

treatment groups and the small number of observations.

The beef gain per acre was 457, 346, 328, and 312 lb. for steers grazing

Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81, Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84, Callie bermuda-

grass, and Pensacola bahiagrass, respectively (table 1). The higher stocking rate

and longer grazing period were responsible for the higher beef gain for Tifton

hybrid bermudagrass 72-81. The lower stocking rate and lower gain were responsible

for the lower beef gain for Pensacola bahiagrass. Callie bermudagrass was damaged

early in the season by rust, while Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84 was damaged late

in the season by a spittlebug infestation. Two spray applications, one week apart,

with Sevin eliminated the spittlebugs.

Relative dry matter production of the pasture grasses is presented in table

2. Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81, Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84, Callie

bermudagrass, and Pensacola bahiagrass produced 11,600, 9,940, 9,030, and 7,820

lb./acre of dr matter., respectively.


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Table 1. PERFORMANCE DATA WITH BEEF STEERS GRAZING WARM-SEASON

PERENNIAL PASTURE GRASSES (1982)a

Pensacola Callie Tifton hybrid bermudagrasses

Item bahiagrass bermudagrass 72-81 72-84

Initial no. of animals 8 8 8 8

Length of grazing, days 183 168 183 168

Initial wt, Ib. 504 546 516 559

Final wt, lb. 658 698 715 720

Gain/animal, lb. 154 152 199 161

Daily gain, lb. 0.84 0.90 1.09 0.96

Animal days/acreb 371 364 419 360

Stocking rate/acreb 2.03 2.17 2.29 2.14

Gain/acre, lb.c 312 328 457 346

Gain/acre/day, lb.c 1.71 1.95 2.50 2.05

aRotational grazing of four 1.25 acre plots for each group initially containing

eight beef steers.

bAdditional grazer animals of the same type and size were added and removed as

needed to keep the forage uniformly consumed.

cThe gain with grazer steers was considered at the same rate as that with

experimental steers.


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Table 2. RELATIVE DRY MATTER PRODUCTION OF WARM-SEASON PERENNIAL

PASTURE GRASSES (1982)

Pensacola Callie Tifton hybrid bermudagrasses

Item bahiagrass bermudagrass 72-81 72-84

Dry forage, lb./acrea 7,820 9,030 11,600 9,940

aEstimated by harvesting forage under wire cages placed on pastures being grazed.


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