Swath-grazing: A Potential Alternative to Hay Feeding for Wintering Beef Cows
Reducing winter feed costs for beef cows, while maintaining cow condition, is crucial to profitability.
Objective: To evaluate swath-grazing as a means to reduce wintering costs by 50 percent.
The producer planned to plant a small grain crop following wheat harvest in mid-July or early August that would be swathed into windrows in late fall and left to be grazed by beef cows during the witner. He planted winter rye after harvesting wheat around September 1.
Results: With the late date and dry fall, the amount of forage production did not warrant the expense of swathing. Consequently, the project was unsuccessful for winter grazing. However, the winter rye did provide 2,690 pounds of dry matter per acre for spring grazing, at a cost of $44.19 per ton in the windrow.