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K-State Research and Extension News

Forage supplementation and methane in beef cows is topic of July 26 webinar

Great Plains Grazing will present the free educational event online.

grazing cattleReleased: July 19, 2016

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The nutrient composition of grazed forages frequently does not meet the requirements of the grazing animals. For example, winter forages are often low in protein and digestible energy while winter/spring grazed wheat has an excess of protein. In order to optimize the use of forages producers frequently provide supplementary protein and/or energy. These generally improve forage utilization, increase carry capacity, and increase animal performance; however, the effects on greenhouse gas emissions are not known.

Great Plains Grazing team member and retired U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service research animal scientist, Andy Cole, will present, “Forage Supplementation Strategies and Methane Production of Beef Cattle,” a free webinar at 1:30 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 26. The webinar is open to anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of how supplements can be used to lower the carbon footprint of grazing beef cattle.

Webinar participants can expect to learn the effects of protein supplementation on low quality forage diets and the effects of energy supplementation on high quality wheat forage.

For 40 years Cole was a research animal scientist specializing in nutrition at the USDA-ARS-Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in Bushland, Texas. He recently retired as the laboratory director and research leader of the Livestock Nutrient Management Unit.

Cole grew up on a family farm near Pampa, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from West Texas State University (now named West Texas A&M University) and his master’s and Ph.D. in animal nutrition from Oklahoma State University.

He has received many awards; most notably the Ruminant Nutrition Research Award from the American Society of Animal Science and the USDA-ARS Southern Plains Area Scientist of the Year. He is a Distinguished Alumni of West Texas A&M University and an Advanced Degree Graduate of Distinction in the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science.

Cole’s research interests include nutrition and management effects on nutrient retention, nutrient losses, and greenhouse gas emission from beef cattle production systems.

The webinar series aims to provide research-based information and is targeted for producers and extension agents. Previous webinars are archived and more information is available at Great Plains Grazing.


K‑State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well‑being of Kansans.  Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K‑State campus in Manhattan.

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For more information:
Lana Barkman - 785-532-3354 or lanaann@ksu.edu