June 3rd 2006, CLEVELAND USA: In mid-summer most native or bermudagrass pastures begin to decline in forage quality.
It can be expected that the protein and phosphorus contents of these grasses will drop. In many cases gain and feed intake may be improved by feeding a small amount of a high protein supplement. Feeding a larger daily amount may increase gain more, but frequently not enough to pay for the feed.
In an Oklahoma test with yearling steers conducted from July 16th- September 4, 3 pounds per day of corn increased daily gain .34 pound while .8 pound of soybean meal increased gain .44 lb.
In this case it took 8.8 lbs of corn or 1.8 lbs of soybean meal per pound of additional weight gain.
Trials such as this were the basis for the development of the “Oklahoma Gold” and “Oklahoma Super Gold” programs.
These programs exploit the correction of the natural decline in forage protein which occurs in mid and late summer forage.
Numerous trials have demonstrated one pound of ‘Oklahoma Gold’ supplement, which contains 38 percent all natural protein, 1 percent phosphorus and a feed additive, will increase gains on the average of .6 pound per day and will increase forage intake up to 20 percent.
The conversion of supplement to gain is expected to be about 1.7:1.
It should be apparent that this program will only work when forage supply is more than adequate. The ‘Oklahoma Super Gold’ program was developed to increase rate of gain above that possible with the ‘Oklahoma Gold’ program.
The Super Gold feed is 25 percent protein, low starch, high energy, and is fed at a rate of 2.5 pounds per head per day.
When fed mid to late summer gains can be expected to increase about .9 pound per day. Feed per pound of gain will be about (2.5/0.9) 2.8.
by Cleveland County OSU Extension Office