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Forages Affect Cattle Weight, Taste

forages d3382-1Clemson University Experiment Station, Extension Service and College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences conducted a two-year experiment feeding Angus steers various forages, each enclosed in five-acre lots planted with alfalfa, bermuda grass, chicory, cowpea or pearl millet. They reported their findings in the Journal of the American Society of Animal Science. The report revealed that finishing steers on alfalfa and chicory during summer increased steer performance. The report also stated that finishing on legumes (alfalfa and cowpea) increased carcass quality, and in taste tests consumers preferred the flavor of the meat. Finishing on bermuda grass and pearl millet improved the levels of healthy fatty acids.
This article appears in the November 2013 issue of Acres U.S.A.

Raw Milk as Pasture Biostimulant

raw-milkAs reported in the May 2013 issue of NODPA News (www.nodpa.com), a raw milk as pasture biostimulant research study performed on fields and in greenhouses in Vermont revealed mixed results. The raw milk stimulated grass tillering and slightly increased forage above-ground biomass under greenhouse conditions, but “the positive benefits attributed to the milk were short-lived and did not appear after the initial cutting.” Also the farmers found “no effect of milk on pasture growth or yield within the first 60 days of application in the field,” but, they say, “… despite the inconclusive results, spraying milk on pasture is still a great way to dispose of waste milk,” and they “recommend that those wishing to experiment with raw milk on their own farm should spray the solution immediately before a rainstorm and after the forage was grazed to maximize the amount of milk reaching the soil. Although you probably shouldn’t expect a substantial change in forage production and quality, it may positively affect your pastures in ways not measured during this experiment.”

This article appears in the September 2013 issue of Acres U.S.A.