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Ask Your Livestock Related Drought Questions

July 24th, 2012

Have questions about pasture supplementation, early weaning, drought silage, nitrates?

Thinking about feed options to manage costs?

This is the place to ask your drought related livestock questions.

We will find the best experts to answer your questions at Iowa State University.  Also, feel free to let us know what you are seeing in your area.

Answers to livestock questions asked during the July 25, 2012 Webinar can be found here:Webinar Questions and Answers

You can ask your follow-up questions by leaving a comment on this blog!


  1. Dan Loy
    | #1

    The following comment was shared by Dale Thoreson, consultant and former Extension Dairy and Beef Specialist for Northeast Iowa.

    I wanted to alert you to 2 other resources from U of Wi on fall seeded oats. Based on our experience from the infamous West Union hail storm, Oats was the best “late summer-early fall” crop according to farmers that tried sorghum sudan or oats. Here are the links to these publications: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/crops/uwforage/FallOatYield-FOF.pdf http://www.uwex.edu/ces/crops/uwforage/FallOatQuality-FOF.pdf Of course we will need rain for any of these fall forages to work.

  2. Mark Matlage
    | #2

    I am fortunate that my cows and calves are in a pasture that still has grass but it has dried up and turned brown. It is primarily fescue and bluegrass. Do I need to supplement with a protein tub? I am starting to see some weight loss on a few of the cows.

  3. Dan Loy
    | #3

    @Mark Matlage
    Even at this stage, the fescue and bluegrass should have enough protein to meet the cows’ requirements. If they are losing condition, an energy supplement can help them maintain. This could be based on grain or byproducts. It will be easier to add condition to these cows after the calves are weaned.

  4. Mark Matlage
    | #4

    Thank you the last answer. Here is a follow-up question that I have had for some time. If I mixed my own corn/oat creep for my calves still on the cows, would the cow’s milk and grazing forage provide enough protein or do I still need to add a commercial supplement?

  5. Dan Loy
    | #5

    @Mark Matlage
    This is a common question that there is not a clear cut answer for. The protein requirement of the calves will be 14-16%. The corn/oats creep is a common one but will be 10-11% protein. Milk, of course, is an excellent protein source. The answer is likely that if the calves are only consuming 2-4 lb. of creep, the mix alone is probably sufficient. When consumption gets higher then supplemental protein may be required.

  1. | #1