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corn field grazing

PINZ Farmer

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How many of you guys will fence in a field that is grain farmed and when corn was harvested run your cows out there for a while. i no that guys do this but is it really worth it.like we have it setup where are cows r there are fields surroundin all sides so we could easily fence in one field and put them there in the winter. my question though is, is them eatin on a harvested corn field enough nutrition alone or would you still need to feed hay. we have thought about maybe fencin in a couple different areas so we could run them in different pens and when they should be gettin close to calvin we would run them back into the pasture and holding pen closest to the barn. and could you keep them out there all winter as long as you dont keep them out there when it is to wet. thanx

joe
 

dd

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I do that on one small field that is fenced and would do it more on other fields but I don't have the time to fence them. Depending on a lot of different factors from how much grain is left to how many acres/cow you'll at the very least probably have to supplement their diet with minerals as well as protien once the grain is gone. Cows seem to like freshly harvested stalks/leaves/husks but I'm not sure how much they're going to eat of them after a few months.
 
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Anonymous

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Warning of caution about grazing cattle on cornfields. Since cattle are not YET naturally adaptable to corns, they are more likely to be more prone to illnesses, health problems, etc. Another problem is corn acts like a thermo to cattle body temperature...too high of temp will dehydrate your cattle, exhaust them, or died from high fever. There is a benefit putting cattle on cornfields. The cattle do grow faster (and put way too much fat!). As the saying goes "We are what we eat".......cattle get really fat real quick, we eat the beef and get fat quicker too! Think about going to the grass fed route....its longer but it will be healthy for you and your family. Think about them and their health.
 

dd

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When putting cattle on stalks you need to take precautions against bloat by sending them out there full of hay. Otherwise the amount of grain thats in the field should only be 1 - 4 bushels/acre. Thats a pretty minimal amount. As far as health is concerned it should have less of a parasite load than other pastures.
 
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Anonymous

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PINZ Farmer":1aiaq155 said:
How many of you guys will fence in a field that is grain farmed and when corn was harvested run your cows out there for a while. i no that guys do this but is it really worth it.like we have it setup where are cows r there are fields surroundin all sides so we could easily fence in one field and put them there in the winter. my question though is, is them eatin on a harvested corn field enough nutrition alone or would you still need to feed hay. we have thought about maybe fencin in a couple different areas so we could run them in different pens and when they should be gettin close to calvin we would run them back into the pasture and holding pen closest to the barn. and could you keep them out there all winter as long as you dont keep them out there when it is to wet. thanx

joe

Most people graze the corn fields in the fall, say Nov and Dec to put off feeding hay which creates a good saving of feed costs. You may want to limit the areas within the field to a daily ration to get even more feeding days. Do this by using tempory movable fencing that can be relocated each day or two. The cattle will eat most of all the residue of the corn and the leaves and last the stalk if it hasn't rotted. There is a formula for figuring the amount of feed value left in the corn field. Consult your extension people, they can help you.
 

donnaIL

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I witness cows in the corn field reguarly...there usually isn't much stalk left after the combine rolls through and then alot of farmers around here cut the stalks and bale in big round bales. Cows in the stubble even yesterday...its a winter crop situation i think, not much there, but keeps them busy and may give the pasture a break when the grass is coming up. Probably more common here in IL since so much corn is grown. Just my opinion and if i had fenced off corn fields i'd let them munch...the only thing is ive heard they can be hard on a field...make it bumpy. donna
 

dd

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You're right Donna, either keep the cows off the field when its muddy or make sure you aren't going to be the one that disks it come spring.
 
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I live in Iowa and grazing cornstalks is the only way. Everybody uses the cornstalks as a cheap feed for a few months. We have learned to feed our cows some whole corn two weeks prior to turn-out. We give them 5 lbs a day and increase it by 1 pound every other day until we reach 12-14 lbs a day. We leave them out their all winter until it thaws then they come into a dry lot, but like now we have the cows with babies back out their because it is dry and lots of clean places to lay. It also helps to have a clean place to move the babies, so we can control scours, usually none. I would fence it in no matter how much work it is. Stop and figure out how much it costs you a day to feed hay, then compare it to cornstalks, which is practically free.
 
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Anonymous

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Oregonian":3emzjlu8 said:
Warning of caution about grazing cattle on cornfields. Since cattle are not YET naturally adaptable to corns, they are more likely to be more prone to illnesses, health problems, etc. Another problem is corn acts like a thermo to cattle body temperature...too high of temp will dehydrate your cattle, exhaust them, or died from high fever. There is a benefit putting cattle on cornfields. The cattle do grow faster (and put way too much fat!). As the saying goes "We are what we eat".......cattle get really fat real quick, we eat the beef and get fat quicker too! Think about going to the grass fed route....its longer but it will be healthy for you and your family. Think about them and their health.

The only logical thing he says in here is that grazing corn stalks raises body temp. This isn't a problem at all because corn stalks aren't grazed in the heat of the summer, they are grazed in late fall and winter after it has been harvested. Grazing corn stalks is a cheap feed and also better for them because they can easily find a dry spot to lay. You can also control your cattle's condition by feeding them less/more supplement and minerals.
Oregonian, how can grazing corn stalks be worse than grazing them on grass? A corn plant is a grass!
 
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Anonymous

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Pay little, or better yet; no attention to what Oregonian says.
 
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Anonymous

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Oreganian, must not know how to run a combine if there is that much corn left in the field to cause the problems that he/she is talking about. I have ran cows and steers in cornfileds for many years and have not seen one of these problems. My only guess is that Oreganian must like to feed lots of hay in the winter/fall months.
 

Randyman

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Donna, unless you ridgetill or no till, you won't have a problem. I disked many acres of seeemingly rough cornfields do to running cattle on stalks. You may want to run the disk a touch deeper if there is big ruts and holes.
 

A. delaGarza

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PINZ Farmer":i1d51b15 said:
How many of you guys will fence in a field that is grain farmed and when corn was harvested run your cows out there for a while. i no that guys do this but is it really worth it.like we have it setup where are cows r there are fields surroundin all sides so we could easily fence in one field and put them there in the winter. my question though is, is them eatin on a harvested corn field enough nutrition alone or would you still need to feed hay. we have thought about maybe fencin in a couple different areas so we could run them in different pens and when they should be gettin close to calvin we would run them back into the pasture and holding pen closest to the barn. and could you keep them out there all winter as long as you dont keep them out there when it is to wet. thanx
joe

we don't have any problem running our cows in harvested corn field. when we plant our corn or sorghum we plant it together with buffelgrass so when corn or sorghum is harvested we will have a grass-stalk field
 
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Anonymous

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Thats essentially what my grandpa and all the farmers around where I grew up did 40 or so years ago. Of course in those days you didn't put down all those herbicides, etc. but rather just ran the cultivators until the crops got too tall. Around harvest time the corn, milo and even cotton land would be full of "field grasses" and we would turn the cattle in after harvesting. Seems like all the farmers also kept a herd of cattle and a milk cow or two. Then while the cattle cleaned up all those crop fields the normal pastures were growing stockpiled grass for the winter. Maybe all that is, in a small way, part of the reason why 40 years ago a man could support a good sized family on a few hundred acres of quality farm & pasture land. Sure can't do it on a few hundred acres these days - maybe those really were the good old days. Arnold Ziffle
 
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Anonymous

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We have been doing that for 3 years now. We bring them some hay and protien when the snow gets deep and covers up the feed, or if the corn is out. They will eat the grain first so send them in full. We pull them off March 1st, before it thaws here so they don't rut it up. The only problems we have had is they pack the field pretty good where they walk up for water all the time, and the BT(bore tolerant?) corn stalks are a little tougher and less palatable for them. We have neighbors that will let us have fields for free just they gain the manure and get their tree strips cleaned out pretty good!
 

dd

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I have a couple of hundred acres of corn stalks within easy reach of the cows each fall and would love to be able to turn the cows out on them. The problem is that only one 16 acre field is fenced.
 

Randyman

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dd":73kxu0i4 said:
I have a couple of hundred acres of corn stalks within easy reach of the cows each fall and would love to be able to turn the cows out on them. The problem is that only one 16 acre field is fenced.


Fencfe the rest in with electric fence. Cheap way to fence, the new material will cost less than the feed your feeding now.
 

dd

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I use a lot of electric fence as it is but new electric fence and deer don't go well together and that time of year is my busiest.
 

Randyman

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dd":1vkrvari said:
I use a lot of electric fence as it is but new electric fence and deer don't go well together and that time of year is my busiest.

I hear ya there. We used to have that problem till CWD came in and killed alot of the deer.
 

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