- Agronomic: barley, soybeans, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
- Additional Plants: native plants
- Animals: bovine
- Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed additives, preventive practices, feed/forage
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research, technical assistance
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance, risk management
High-sulfate water, commonly found in the western area of the North Central Region, is responsible for poor performance and, in some cases, death of beef cattle. Supplemental thiamin has been shown to improve performance of cattle drinking high-sulfate water, but optimal levels of thiamin are not known. This project will determine optimal levels of thiamin through drylot studies with steers, in which a variety of levels will be tested in year 1 and the optimal level further tested in year 2. We will implement those levels on cattle grazing rangeland (beginning in year 2) to determine the efficacy of thiamin supplementation in pasture situations. In the third year of this study, the thiamin guidelines produced by our research will be implemented on 2 cooperator ranches. Results of the research and demonstration trials will be presented at field days held on each of the cooperator ranches and publications (2 scientific and 3 Extension) will be developed. Evaluation of the study will include evaluation of the science (e.g. adherence to protocol, data checking, data analysis, and scientific review of journal manuscripts), technology transfer (number of producers attending field days and other meetings), and adoption of, and success using, thiamin supplementation guidelines by ranchers in the region. Short-term outcomes include determination of optimal levels of thiamin supplement to reduce the negative impact of high-sulfate drinking water on cattle, an economic analysis of thiamin supplementation in high-sulfate water situations, informed scientific and rancher communities, and implementation of thiamin supplementation on 2 cooperator ranches. Intermediate-term outcomes include adoption of thiamin supplementation guidelines by 25 ranchers with high-sulfate livestock water sources and improved cattle performance on the 2 demonstration ranches.
Project objectives from proposal:
Short-term outcomes will include:
1) improved knowledge of appropriate level of thiamin supplement to reduce the negative impact of high-sulfate drinking water on cattle and the economic impact of thiamin supplementation in high-sulfate water situations
2) the scientific community and 100 ranchers will be informed of appropriate levels of thiamin to reduce/moderate the impacts of high-sulfate water on cattle performance and the economic feasibility of providing thiamin supplementation
3) two producers will implement thiamin supplementation on their ranches in pastures with high-sulfate water sources.
Intermediate-term outcomes include:
1) adoption of thiamin supplementation guidelines by 25 ranchers with high-sulfate livestock water sources
2) demonstrated applicability of thiamin supplementation on two producer ranches.
Long-term outcomes are expected to include:
1) widespread dissemination of thiamin supplementation guidelines throughout the region
2) implementation of thiamin supplementation on over 200 ranches in the region
3) improved cattle performance on ranches with high-sulfate water sources
4) improved sustainability of range livestock production systems that are dependent on high-sulfate water sources