Nutritive value of cattle diets on fertilized and unfertilized blue grama rangeland

Wallage, J.D.; Cordova, F.J.; Donart, G.B.; Pieper, R.D.

Proceedings of the XIV International Grassland Congress, held at Lexington, Kentucky, USA, June 15-24, 1981 Smith, JA; Hays, VW Editors: 688-690


Accession: 001103954

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A study to compare nutritive value of diets selected by Hereford steers grazing unfertilized and N-fertilized (45 kg N/ha) rangeland in S. central New Mexico was made. Stocking rates were 4.8 and 2.4 ha/yearling steer for control and N-fertilized pastures, resp. Nutritive value of grazed forage from both pastures followed seasonal trends; CP content and in vitro OM digestibility (IVOMD) decreased while CF content increased with advancing plant maturity. During the growing seasons CP levels were higher in diets from the fertilized pasture than in those from the control pasture, while CF values were higher in diets from the control pasture. IVOMD value favoured the fertilized pasture during the latter part of the growing season, but during mid to late dormancy, digestibility was higher on unfertilized range. Increased nutritive value of rangeland forage during the growing season, attributed to N fertilization, did not continue through dormancy. The N-fertilized native ranges could be utilized during the growing season, thus relieving grazing pressure on unfertilized range until dormancy.