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Need advice on corn stalks, wheat ground, etc

talltimber

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I have been thinking about how I can stockpile fescue for the cows, but still hang on to my steers another couple of months if needed, or just plan on another forage for them altogether. I am in an area where, especially a couple years ago, several local hay fields were taken out and put into crops, and there are several fields around here close that I think a guy might be able to run some calves. I'm talking about farmed rolling hills mostly, ideally being off the highway. I'd like any pointers anyone may be able to give on the process of getting something like this going, suggestions on ways to present it to the landowner, how to determine a fair rent amount, overseeding/broadcasting into corn/stalks, etc. This is something I am thinking more and more about. My concerns are that my calves will most likely be along a county road, eyes shining at night in a spotlight, water source.
 

RiverHills

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TT just making sure we are on the same page.
So you're wanting to graze the stalks and a cover crop?
The field will go back to corn or beans in the spring?
 

talltimber

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Yes, that's it. Go into the stalks with something if necessary, if landowner is not gonna sow wheat (I doubt he would want calves on a wheat crop), or sow a cover crop on bean ground, for fall forage of my yearlings, heifers etc. Only one guy I know around here close does it, on his own ground. I am wondering if there is a missed opportunity here as well. (Stocker Steve's post got me to thinking about it again). May be more trouble than it's worth
 

sim.-ang.king

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If you want to do the work, you could have feed for most of the winter. Right after harvest put them on the bean stumble. Then on to the stockpiled fescue, and then on to the corn stocks when the fescue gets thin. Not really any need for planting anything, if you don't mind moving a lot.
 

skyhightree1

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sim.-ang.king":28rzvdz1 said:
If you want to do the work, you could have feed for most of the winter. Right after harvest put them on the bean stumble. Then on to the stockpiled fescue, and then on to the corn stocks when the fescue gets thin. Not really any need for planting anything, if you don't mind moving a lot.

I will " Piggy " back you Sim and say if you want on the corn stubble you could plant oats in it. Be prepared on additional expense because they will need supplements.
 

wbvs58

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If I owned the land I would be concerned about the loss of nutrients from what you are planting and planning to graze on and remove. There would have to be adequate compensation to put back into the ground what you take out.

Ken
 

bmoore87

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wbvs58":jccezx6s said:
If I owned the land I would be concerned about the loss of nutrients from what you are planting and planning to graze on and remove. There would have to be adequate compensation to put back into the ground what you take out.

Ken


Agreed the nutrient loss would be a big issue around here for landowners also the tearing up of the field if it is a muddy year and how early you would get them off in the spring.

In our area you wouldn't be able to get much growth on a cover crop most years after crops before freeze to where it would be worth it.

Running on cornstalks with some kind of supplement might wwork
 

Stocker Steve

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Excellent article by Allen Williams in this months Graze newsletter. NOTILLING a cover crop mix and grazing it intensely will increase soil fertility rapidly. The magic of soil mineralization extents far beyond the N fixing we usually focus on. I would present it that way and propose not paying rent. The crop guy should see yield increases.

There are three main drivers on the economics of double cropping like this:
- Keeping seeding cost reasonable.
- Planting early enough to get a decent yield.
- Having the right class of livestock to utilize high rfv feed.
 

RiverHills

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I think it can work but it's going to be a tough sell to a landowner. In our area with the weather we have, compaction would be an issue. how much I don't know yet, give me a few more years of test.

Timing of corn or bean harvest can be a big factor as well. Sowing in late August early September praying for rain. But if you want the growth you need to get tonnage to make it worth it.

You also have to stip graze it to get the most out of it.

In the right situation it's a win win but it takes a lot of planning. Studies have shown that it can really improve your soil health and fertility but it takes YEARS. Trying to convince a row crop farmer would be hard.

I'm not trying to tell you not to but do your homework. Have all your ducks in a row before asking. Starting off on a small scale might be best as well. Maybe a small rough field that's not super productive and should be in grass anyways.
 
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