The effect of closing date on the performance of beef weavers grazing foggaged Digitaria eriantha and Acroceras macrum

Author: A.P. van Schalkwyk and W.D. Gertenbach
Year: 2000
Issue: 1
Volume: 30
Page: 82 - 86

Digitaria eriantha spp. eriantha and Acroceras macrum foggage, closed off at three different dates (end of December, end of January and end of February), was evaluated for use as winter grazing for the overwintering of weaner steers in the Sour Sandveld of KwaZulu-Natal. Delaying the closing date led to an improvement in the quality of the herbage, where a higher crude protein content and a reduced crude fibre content were taken as indicators of nutritive value. Closing date had a major effect on dry matter yield, which was directly related to the length of time the pasture was closed off. Closing date significantly affected animal performance. With both pastures, steer growth rate was negative when the pastures were closed off in December, whereas the steers grazing pastures closed off in February achieved the highest live mass gains over the grazing period.

Keywords: ADG, dry matter yield, Nilegrass, Smuts finger grass, steers
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