Date of this Version
Great Plains Research Vol. 20 No. 2, 2010
Livestock gains of yearling Hereford heifers were evaluated during 1996–1999 on two complementary forage grasses, “Bozoisky-Select” Russian wildrye (Psathyrostachys juncea [Fisch.] Nevski) or “Hycrest” crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn. ssp. desertorum [Fisch. ex Link] A. Love). Average daily gains were similar between light and moderate stocking rates for both Bozoisky and Hycrest, and gains trended higher for Hycrest than for Bozoisky at light stocking rates. Total annual (spring + fall) beef production (kg/ha) was consistently greater for moderate (29%–46%) than for light stocking of both complementary forages. Spring gains represented >75% of the total annual beef production across forages. Average daily gains on these complementary forages were similar to those on native shortgrass steppe for the summer grazing season, but total annual beef production was two to four times greater with the complementary forages, suggesting that both Hycrest and Bozoisky can fill forage gaps and provide significant contributions to beef production.