Fiber Factor

IABF-Pasture Extender Ration

According to evidence provided by Iowa State University School of Agriculture, grass in Iowa pastures does not contain sufficient nutrients to meet the needs of cows with calves beyond the early summer season in non-rotational grazing situations.  Therefore, to maintain herd health and have good gain in calves, supplemental feeding is essential. 

What type of supplementation provides for the best gain and maintains the healthiest herd?  To promote a healthy rumen one wants to feed a supplement that contains roughage that is comparable to the pasture grass the cows are already eating.  This assures that the bacteria in the rumen are easily able to manage the digestive processes associated with the supplemental feed.

If one plans to limit the supplemental feed provided to the herd, for best results one would provide supplemental feed containing 20% roughage and 80% grain byproducts.  If one plans to use self feeders and allow unlimited supplemental feeding one would use supplemental feed comprised of 50% roughage and 50% grain byproducts.  If using rotational grazing, one can feed as little as 5lbs of supplemental feed per head per day and significantly increase the number of cattle the pasture can handle at any one time. Additionally, if one does supplemental feeding as described above, one will experience a significantly higher breed back % for the herd.

Iowa Agricultural BioFibers (IABF) provides pasture extenders that meet the above requirements and are easy and convenient to feed.  The feeds are a combination of roughage and feed byproducts and come in a pelleted form. They are made from a combination of highly processed corn stover, wheat mids and distillers’ grain.  Pelleting corn stover drastically improves the nutrient availability of the stover thereby adding to its feed value. The mixture of roughage and grain byproducts also provides for the ideal nutritional compliment to the grasses available in the pasture.  The pelleted feed works equally well in feed bunks for hand feeding or in self feeders.  In a cow/calf herd, the value of supplemental feeding with IABF Pasture Extender pellets is the increased milk that the cows make for the calves and the fact that the cows go into the winter season healthy and in good all around condition.  Good herd health pays big dividends. 

For more information or to order IABF Pasture Extender call Iowa Agricultural BioFibers in Harlan, Iowa at 712-579-5138.

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