Many ranchers in the Northern Plains utilize dormant forages, crop residues, or other low-quality forages for a portion of their forage resources for winter grazing. If you are planning to utilize these kind of forages in your winter grazing plans, protein supplementation may be necessary to maintain beef cow productivity, ensure healthy calves at calving time, and ensure the cows return to estrous quickly following calving.
Dormant forages, crop residues and other low-quality forages are typically low in protein and vitamin A, as well as minerals such as phosphorus. A variety of factors including cow condition, cow nutrient requirements, previous forage and pasture management and weather will determine when and if protein supplementation is required. There are many different products available for use as protein supplements. The optimal choice for your operation depends on cost, availability, pasture accessibility, and other factors.