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Evaluating Stocker Steer Gains on Tallgrass Native Range with Two Burn Dates and Spices in Mineral

Objective: The overall objective of this study was to evaluate management practices that may impact stocker steer gains on a 90-day double stocking grazing system in tallgrass native range. Specific objectives include evaluating the timing of burning, addition of spices in a complete free-choice mineral, and determination if the effects are additive.

Study Description: Two pasture burning times (March or April) and free-choice mineral with or without addition of spices were evaluated using 281 head of stocker steers on eight pastures of tallgrass native range. The spices included garlic oil in powder form and Solace (Wildcat Feeds LLC). Cattle were weighed at the start of the study and the end. Steers grazed pastures for 87 days. Data analyzed included average daily gain, total gain, and final weight.

Results: There was no interaction between the two manage­ment practices for average daily gain, total gain, and out weights (P > 0.17). Average daily gain was increased by 0.35 lb/day (P = 0.03) with an April pasture burn instead of March. There was no difference in average daily gain based on mineral supplement (P = 0.23), even though numerically the cattle on spice mineral had a greater average daily gain. When evaluating final weights, cattle on April burned pastures tended (P = 0.09) to weigh 20 lb more than those grazing pastures burned in March. Calves on the spice mineral tended (P = 0.10) to weigh 19 lb more at the end of the study than steers on the control mineral.

The Bottom Line: Burning pastures in April results in a greater calf gain than burn­ing in March, while the addition of spices to a free-choice complete mineral shows promise as a cost-effective method to increase gains in stocker steers on tallgrass na­tive range.

View full research report by author  J.K. Farney at

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