A study of mechanical grazing of irrigated pasture in the South Saskatchewan river dam area
Authors: Kohlert, R.N.
Description: Mechanical grazing is a process by which the feed is cut in the field, transported to the feedlot, and fed to the animals in the green state. This method is practiced on an intensive scale in Great Britain, mostly with dairy herds (2). In the United States, mechanical grazing has come into prominence in the years 1940-1960, due to more intensive land use in many States that have high rainfall or irrigated areas. United States re ports indicate the feeding of corn as a concentrate in mechanical grazing (5). The Animal Husbandry Department of Iowa State University found that mechanical grazing resulted in more rapid beef gain with a lower cost per pound of gain than natural grazing. One of the more promisiing methods was the feeding of green feed with limited grain and no protein supplement. This conclusion was based on cost of gains, early marketing date with good slaughter finish, and the most suitable usage of the forage crop (7). The University of California tested alfalfa silage of various mixtures and additives. Sudan Hay, under free choice, caused little change in daily gain but a slight de crease in the production of beef. Barley increased gains but did not increase beef production per acre. Molasses not only decreased gains but lowered substantially the amount of beef produced (4). Kamloops workers reported reduced pasture productivity under mechanical grazing. Costs were higher due to in creased capital expenditures for the harvesting machine and greater labour involved in feeding the forage (6). Lethbridge tests showed mechanical grazing did not appreciably increase beef production per acre. Their results indicated that, although forage production was lower from the mechanically harvested fields than from the rotationally grazed fields, beef production per acre was greater. This may indicate that feed requirements for gain are lower in a feedlot where animals are confined than when they are grazing on pasture (1). Several years of mechanical grazing at Hays, Alberta, indicated that even in a year of low productivity of pasture and high labour costs, a net profit was still realized (3). With the development of the South Saskatchewan River the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act wished to acquire information on mechanical grazing as a possible farm practise in the pro posed area of irrigation development. The study was conducted to deter mine the economic and practical feasibility of mechanical grazing of irrigated pasture.
Keywords: a study of mechanical grazing of irrigated pasture in the south saskatchewan river dam area
Citation: Kohlert, R.N. 1965. A STUDY OF MECHANICAL GRAZING OF IRRIGATED PASTURE IN THE South Saskatchewan RIVER DAM AREA. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 7(1):52-54.