Sustainable Beef Systems Research Group

Dr. H. A. (Bart) Lardner

Western Beef Development Centre


Department of Animal and Poultry Science

phone: (306)682-3139 Fax (306) 682-5080 Cell (306) 220-9179




Research Areas

New pasture varieties for beef producers. Research projects are evaluating new grass varieties for cow-calf producers to use as perennial pasture. Studies will collect information on forage yield, forage quality, animal gains, animal grazing days, beef production per acre and animal intake. New species include smooth bromegrass, meadow bromegrass, hybrid bromegrass, crested wheatgrass, tall fescue and intermediate wheatgrass.

Management of grazing legumes. Ongoing studies involving the establishment and grazing management of several legume varieties for pasture. These projects will provide beef producers with an opportunity to view alternate forage legumes, their establishment and use as a pasture species. Alfalfa varieties include Spredor IV, Spredor III and AC Grazeland Br.

Comparison of annual crops to extend the grazing season. The WBDC continues to collect information on various annual crops used to supplement perennial pastures and extend the grazing season. Crops include grazing corn, millet, barley, forage oats, CPS wheat, fall rye and forage turnips.

Effects of water quality on weight gain in yearlings and cow-calf pairs. Evaluation of four types of surface water, (i) directly accessed dugout water, (ii) un-aerated dugout water in a trough, (iii) aerated dugout water in a trough and (iv) coagulated and chlorinated dugout water in a trough (v) well water pumped to a trough. The effects of water source on the following will be evaluated: animal weight gain, cattle parasitic load, forage intake and quality, water consumption, and seasonal water quality.

Water preference of beef cattle. This project will assess the differences in water consumption and acceptance of several water types including coagulated, aerated, ground water, ozonated and untreated dugout water.

Composted and non-composted beef cattle manure as a nutrient source. Determination of manure and compost application rates to serve as a nutrient source for perennial pasture. Determine agronomic effect of different rates of fresh and composted manure on soil and plant nutrient profiles across different soil zones in Saskatchewan.

Evaluation of net energy maintenance requirements for winter feeding beef cows in Saskatchewan. The objectives of this research are to determine the winter feed requirements of cows in varying body condition during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy when fed under Saskatchewan winter conditions. Compare actual dry matter intake and weight gains of wintering beef cows to that predicted by the NRC 1996 ³Cowbytes² ration formulation/prediction programs. Finally, use the results to make recommendations to nutritionists and livestock agrologists to refine the computer prediction software such as ³Cowbytes² for formulating diets for beef producers.

Nutrient management of beef cow winter feeding systems. Evaluate nutrient efficiency of intensive and extensive cow-wintering systems for managing nutrients from beef cattle manure. Determine the effectc of feed system on animal body condition, change in body weight, soil nitrogen and phosphorous levels, subsequent forage production and quality between wintering sites. Evaluate economic differences between wintering systems. A comparison of inputs between each system will be analyzed for labour, equipment, energy, and the cycling of nutrients on perennial pasture stands.

Low-cost winter feeding systems for beef cows. This project will assess the effect of winter feeding systems (bale grazing, swath grazing, chaff/straw grazing, drylot feeding) on cow body reserves, weight changes, reproductive efficiency. In addition soil nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) and soil bulk density, soil strength will be evaluated.

Scientific Publications

Publications for Ranchers

This webpage was last updated on September 17, 2010. The linked pages in this series may have been updated more recently however.

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