Forage Kochia for Fall and Winter Grazing

Project Participants: Dale Zobell, Ken Olson, John Malechek, and Clint Stoncipher

Forage kochia is a nutritious perennial that is well adapted to the Intermountain West. There are potential advantages for beef producers to use it as a forage for grazing cows during late fall and early winter as an alternative to feeding hay. Viability and sustainability of beef production in the western U.S. can be increased if feed costs are decreased. Forage kochia could be an important management option to reduce winter feed costs and improve livestock ranching profitability.

Incorporating forage kochia into a low-quality grass diet improved nutrient utilization, increased intake and improved the rate of digestion. It also increased rate of passage and decreased retention time in the rumen thereby increasing nutrient intake.  Forage kochia should be interseeded into existing grass stands to achieve a 25 to 50% proportion of the available dry matter as kochia to optimize the combination of rate and extent of diet digestion and intake.

Forage Kochia Fact Sheet

Forage Kochia Project - Tooele County


Stonecipher, C. A., K. C. Olson, J. C. Malechek, and D. D. Carter. 2004. Intake and digestibility response to forage kochia (Kochia prostrata) in a low quality forage diet. Proc. West. Sec. Amer. Soc. Anim. Sci. 55:273-275.

Stonecipher, C.A., K. C. Olson, M. A. Buck, J. C. Malechek. 2005. Digesta kinetics of steers fed forage kochia (Kochia prostrata) in a low quality forage diet. Proceedings, Western Section, American Society of Animal Science 56:442-444.

ZoBell, D.R., B.L. Waldron, K.C. Olson, R.D. Harrison, and H. Jensen. 2004. Utilization of forage kochia for fall/winter grazing.
Proceedings, Western Section, American Society of Animal Science. 55:282-284.