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Trial Summary

  • Trial Goals

    The objective of this experiment is to compare steer performance and forage productivity and longevity of cool-season forages available to Tennessee beef producers.

  • Setting

    Ames Plantation - 2002-2005

  • Results

    Results of spring grazing indicated that the lowest average daily gain was for steers grazing E+ tall fescue. Animal performance was similar for Persist orchardgrass and Jesup MaxQ tall fescue.

Calf Study

The objective of this experiment is to compare steer performance and forage productivity and longevity of cool-season forages available to Tennessee beef producers. Eighteen 1.2-ha pastures at the Hancock Place at Ames Plantation are assigned to six cool-season forages with three replicate pastures of each. The cool-season forage treatments are:

  • Endophyte-infected KY-31 tall fescue
  • Endophyte-infected KY-31 tall fescue plus red and white clovers
  • Endophyte-free Jesup tall fescue
  • Jesup MaxQ tall fescue
  • Persist orchardgrass
  • Persist orchardgrass plus red and white clovers

All experimental pastures were established in the fall of 2002. In spring 2003, hay was harvested from each pasture in late May. Pastures were fertilized with 50kg N/ha in early September and fescue was stockpiled before initiation of grazing in mid-December 2003 with five newly weaned steers/ 1.2 ha pasture for all grazing seasons. Steers were fed fescue hay and range cubes when forage growth was not sufficient to support animal performance. Grazing was terminated in mid-June. Following the termination of spring grazing, a new group of newly weaned calves from the fall calving herd were used to graze summer growth until stockpiling began in early September. Newly weaned steers began grazing stockpiled pastures in mid-December with four steers/1.2 ha pasture. Grazing continued until early June of 2005.

Results of spring grazing indicated that the lowest average daily gain was for steers grazing E+ tall fescue. Animal performance was similar for Persist orchardgrass and Jesup MaxQ tall fescue.

Complete trial data on the Calf Study is available upon request.