Cow and Calf Gains on Ladino Clover-Tall Fescue and Tall Fescue, Grazed Alone and with Coastal Bermudagrass1
- J. C. Burns,
- L. Goode,
- H. D. Gross and
- A. C. Linnerud2
Cows and calves were used in a 2-year study to determine the quality, as measured by calf gains, of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) pasture, with and without ladino clover (Trifolium repens) grazed alone or in combination with ‘Coastal’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L) Pers.). Pastures were managed to limit any adverse influence of forage quantity or quality on calf gain.
Gain per calf was highest on ladino-tall fescue (L-TF) pastures during the entire trial. In period 1 (initiation of grazing until May 31) calves on tall fescue (TF) averaged 6 kg/head less than those grazing L-TF (43.3 vs 37.3 kg). During the critical summer months calves on the L-TF + Coastal bermudagrass (CB) and TF + CB systems averaged 73.1 and 68.3 kg/head, respectively, compared with 79.9 kg for L-TF. Total seasonal gains from the L-TF treatment averaged only 4 kg/head more than the L-TF + CB system (122.1 vs 118.1). Although seasonal calf gains from the TF + CB system were lower (105 kg/head) than L-TF + CB, they were acceptable (0.68 kg/head per day) and justify quantitative evaluation of a pure grass system.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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