Howard Viator, Soprano, Camelia W. | 3/15/2013 2:18:49 AM
Recent interest in finishing beef only on forages has surfaced because of the perception that forage-fed beef has a lower environmental impact and contains greater concentration of healthy to unhealthy fat ratios. Scientists are investigating year-long forage systems for producing 1,000+ pound steers at 17-19 months of age.
Efficient use of forage resources
Louisiana is blessed with the capacity to grow forages. The use of these resources is highly affected by management. The evaluation of different strategies and practices will increase the profitability of beef cattle enterprises.
All sugarcane varieties released to the growers in Louisiana since the 1980s were developed in cooperation with personnel at the Iberia Research Station. The station is located in a sugarcane production region with unique soils and environmental conditions, which dictate screening of experimental varieties within the Bayou Teche region.
Grazing Behavior of Beef Cattle
Research is being conducted to gain an understanding of the process by which cattle express choice when grazing. The focus is on how forage mixtures affect foraging behavior and animal performance.
Use of Hay to Increase Productivity on Forage Systems
The objective is to evaluate the use of bermudagrass hay as means of increasing the productivity per unit of area and its impact on animal physiology in calves grazing cool-season forages.
Sweet Sorghum for Biomass Production
The federal mandate for energy security through the development of sustainable biofuels has revived interest in sweet sorghum as a renewable energy crop. Researchers at the Iberia Research Station have partnered with the biofuel industry to identify scenarios for furnishing sweet sorghum feedstock to the biorefinery.
Data from the LSU AgCenter's Louisiana Ag Summary Web site.
The development of forage-fed beef cattle enterprises will be the principal objective of projects in ruminant nutrition. The relationship of grazing behavior to animal performance will be featured to gain an understanding of the contribution of the forage diet. This is a contemporary issue in animal agriculture that has been supported by and should continue to garner extramural funding.
Through the evaluation of different forages species as well as year-round forage systems and management practices, the profitability and sustainability of beef cattle enterprises will be improved. Low- and high-input cow-calf systems will be evaluated and will provide the framework for research and extension activities at the Iberia Research Station.
Personnel at the Iberia Research Station will continue to be involved in the evaluation and selection of sugarcane varieties. Improved sugarcane varieties represent the most important contribution research can make to the growers and millers.
Meeting the target of producing 21 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022 will be a challenge. Our partnerships with the fledging sweet sorghum ethanol industries should result in identifying feedstock logistics to meet the federally mandated goal.