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Stockpiling Warm Season Grasses to Reduce Winter Feed Costs

Extension Education

Brian Haller
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service


The cost of hay and feed for winter feeding is the largest expense of maintaining a beef cattle herd. Estimates in Arkansas in 2021 - 2022 according to USDA-NASS showed that hay prices averaged $133/ton.  All too often, producers finish harvesting hay in the fall and then begin feeding it soon afterward.  Adopting pasture management practices that extend the grazing season avoids investing more cost into forage that could be grazed instead of being harvested for hay.   Stockpiling warm season grass is a pasture management practice that has the potential to reduce winter feed cost for beef producers.  A stockpiled warm season grass demonstration was conducted on forty acres in the Fall/Winter 2022 through Winter 2023. The fields were clipped to 2-3 inches in height in early August and fertilized with 125 lbs./acre of urea fertilizer on August 4th. Grazing was deferred until November 13, 2022. The stockpiled forage was strip grazed. Ninety-eight animal units (AU = 1,000 lbs. cow) grazed on the stockpile for 48 days. The forage quality of the stockpiled was 7.6% CP and 55.5% TDN. Protein tubs were used as a supplement to balance animal nutritional requirements. The total savings between strip grazing the stockpiled forage vs. feeding hay was $6,854.66 or $98.91 per animal unit. Stockpiling warm season grass will save producers money.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted only for display at AM/PIC. Poster is not to be judged, but the abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: Brian Haller, Kenny Simon
  1. Haller, B. CEA-STAFF CHAIR, University of Arkansas Div. of Agri Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas, 72143
  2. Simon, K. Instructor - Forages, University of Arkansas Div. of Agri Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas, 72204