A recent study by the South-Florida Beef-Forage Program looks at whether year-round supplementation of cows pays off.

In 2016, the South-Florida Beef-Forage Program was given funds by The Florida Beef Enhancement Board to study “different supplementation strategies for pregnant beef females and its impacts on performance of cows and calves” according to an article in the program’s website outlining the draft summary of two studies that were conducted using the funds. See the details of the first study below.

Details of South-Florida Beef-Forage Program Study #1

Both studies operated under the belief that “Body condition score (BCS) at calving is the most important factor that influences overall pregnancy rate and calving distribution of beef cows,” and that “poor nutrition during gestation can alter fetal organ formation and decrease offspring’s future performance (fetal-programming).”

According to the article, the first study, titled “Does year-round supplementation of cows pay off?” utilized the hypothesis that “year-round supplementation of molasses or range cubes would increase cow BCS throughout gestation and at calving,” and that “year-round supplementation of molasses and range cubes would improve calf development during pregnancy, and then, calf growth after birth.”

The study utilized mature Brangus cows on bahiagrass pastures, with some cows receiving year-round supplementation of molasses or range cubes and some only getting supplementation from calving to the end of the breeding season. The results after one year showed that “molasses and range cubes supplementation increased cow BCS at calving (November) compared to cows receiving no supplementation,” though the study will be conducted for another year to confirm the results.

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.