Traditionally, most cow-calf producers consider feeding total mixed rations (TMR) only during calving and early lactation, as well as perhaps, ideally, during late gestation. However, there are a number of other opportunities during the fall for supplemental feeding with a vertical TMR mixer that can be used to extend the grazing season, as well as improve calf health and growth performance post-weaning.
Assuming more rainfall comes to the Southern Plains states in the weeks ahead, wheat pasture is likely to be a key source of protein and energy for cow herds by late November and early December. Nathan Anderson, Payne County Oklahoma Extension director and agricultural educator, said limited grazing of wheat pasture has proven to be one of the most efficient approaches for using this high-quality forage with mature beef cows.
“The protein requirements of a dry cow can be met by allowing her to graze on wheat pasture for one day and returning her to dry pasture grass or hay for the subsequent two days to three days,” he said. “A pattern of one day on wheat and one day off should meet the protein needs of the same cow after calving.”