Find information for winter supplementation for your herd from the South Florida Beef-Forage Program’s Article of the Month.
Winter supplementation is a necessity for many cow-calf operations during the fall and winter months, according to the South Florida Beef-Forage Program’s October Article of the Month. The article maintains that “Forage quality and quantity start to decline for most forage species as the growing season comes to an end, but the nutritional requirements of cows who are expected to calve during these same months are not declining.” Essentially, the article advises ranchers to look “at Winter Supplementation as an Investment more than an Expense.” See the details below.
Winter Supplementation Tips
The article shares that:
- “…Through starting supplementation early, producers can maintain cows’ body condition scores (BCS), improve pregnancy and calving rates, and increase weaning weights.”
- If a “cow’s nutritional needs are met, she can focus 100% on raising a healthy, marketable calf,” but if her “needs are not met, she first must focus on surviving, with the needs of her calf being met second, and being bred back is placed on the back burner. This results in lighter weight calves at weaning and lower pregnancy rates, both of which affect profitability.”
- “Sampling your forage/hay is the important first step in calculating how much supplement to feed. Once you know the protein and energy that is supplied through forage consumption, you can then work with your nutritionist, feed rep, and/or Extension specialist to know how much of a certain supplement you need for the fall and winter months based on the stage your cows are in (gestation, lactation, dry, etc.).”
The article maintains that winter supplementation ensures that cows maintain BCSs and result in healthier cows and calves.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions -or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.