What kind of corn to plant?

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rusty

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First if this has already been a topic I apolgize.I have been reading where some of you use corn still on stock to feed cattle.I also understand to wait till stalk has dried up before puttin cattle on it.Now for the question does it matter what kind of corn to use and if so what kind do you recommend?I live in central WV and want to use it for late fall winter.I'll be running around 20 head so if I do this how much do I need to plant to make it worthwhile for the cattle to benefit?Thanks for any and all comments in advance.
 

mnmtranching

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If I were going to plant corn with the plan to graze it. I would not buy the expensive seed. Why?
You will be able to buy a last years blend of conventional hybrid for about $40 per bushel. The RR seed will be about 4 times the price. And won't yield a bit more. Plant it thick, like plant spacing 2-3 inches apart in rows and cultivate a couple times. You won't need tall plants and big ears. Lots of small ears will be better and less waste. Same with the stalks, cattle won't use the big and hard stalks but will go right after the small and more tender plants.
 

KNERSIE

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mnmtranching":22v4b073 said:
If I were going to plant corn with the plan to graze it. I would not buy the expensive seed. Why?
You will be able to buy a last years blend of conventional hybrid for about $40 per bushel. The RR seed will be about 4 times the price. And won't yield a bit more. Plant it thick, like plant spacing 2-3 inches apart in rows and cultivate a couple times. You won't need tall plants and big ears. Lots of small ears will be better and less waste. Same with the stalks, cattle won't use the big and hard stalks but will go right after the small and more tender plants.

any suggestions on row width?
 

mnmtranching

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Why not plant as narrow as your equipment allows. I would go after a heavy plant population. Still plant rows and cultivate.
 

FarmGirl10

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Like mnmt said don't use expensive GMO corn. Especially with the research that has shown that some GMO corn causes decreased fertility. It often takes longer to breed back and that offspring are often weak and have a higher mortality rate. I have found research on this (in mice) and a lot dairies in my area are having a lot problems with breeding back and they would be the first to see it show up in cattle.
 

Toby L.

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what?":3b1i7qve said:
mnmtranching":3b1i7qve said:
Why not plant as narrow as your equipment allows. I would go after a heavy plant population. Still plant rows and cultivate.
SO WHEN YOU SUGGESTED THE 2 TO 3 INCHES APART WHAT ROW SPACING DID YOU HAVE IN MIND?

As narrow as the seeder allows, but far enough a part to be able to cultivate the corn. Thats what I got out of it, it's not rocket science.
 

TexasBred

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What I know about planting corn wouldn't fill up a thimble but I did hear a farmer say he planted 22,000 seeds per acre. As "What" said...that still don't tell us what the row spacing is.
 
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rusty

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Let me reask the ?.I don't have alot of pasture but do have alot of hay fields so with little pasture it determines my herd size. What I had in mind was buying steers this fall when most around here are selling and (still doing research) buying low selling high or at least make a profit.I've been reading about some of you free choice corn and thought it might be a good way to put weight on the steers before selling.Another factor is how long can I wait to put cows on it? I don't figure it would do much good to put them on very long before selling.I also don't have any corn planting equipment figured i'd disk the ground and do it like garden.This may be a stupid idea but i've warned you all that I would ask them ,a little later on I have another about using turnips for the same purpose.(heard they were really high in protein)If any of you have other suggestions to accomplice this goal please throw them out just don't forget it needs to be used late fall early spring. Again thanks.
 

Toby L.

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what?":3bsv8j0b said:
Toby L.":3bsv8j0b said:
As narrow as the seeder allows, but far enough a part to be able to cultivate the corn. Thats what I got out of it, it's not rocket science.
CORRECT IT AIN'T ROCKET SCIENCE BUT I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT ROW SPACING HE HAD IN MIND WHEN HE MADE THE SUGGESTION OF 2 TO 3 INCHES APART.

I don't know what mnmtranching does, but genally speaking you can plant the rows from 15 to 38 inches. 30 inches would be most profitable, but I'm not talking about grazing.
 

mnmtranching

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I was talking about plant spacing in rows. Also I was talking about what ever equipment you have. If you are set up with 36 inch rows, go with it. No need to go out and buy stuff. If you don't have the planter, cultivator etc. Might as well get the narrower row stuff. Do it as economically as you can. As ga says you can get a lot of $ into corn acres.
 
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rusty

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mnm.
Do you think my idea is possible?To lets say take 20 steers buy in fall lay the hay to them then about a month before sell turn them on corn.Would they put on any weight?I understand no guaruntee but tried pratice.Lets say in 4 months.
 

mnmtranching

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Rusty, before you turn them on the corn field. If there is a good amount of ears.
Make sure you start them on corn first. Like a pound or two per day. Get them used to eating and digesting corn good before you turn them into the corn patch.
Yeah, It will work with good management and keeping your costs down.

Side Note, A little luck with weather and cattle prices will help.
 

kenny thomas

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My experience has been that on mature corn after frost the cows use it much better than the calves. You said you would buy steers. What size? The problem I think is the calves teeth have not matured enough to graze properly on the corn stalks and hard corn still on the cob. The cows with mature teeth seem to have no problem. Just my experience, may work for someone else.
If you have no equipment and your only purpose is to graze the corn why not broadcast it and not worry about the rows.
 
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rusty

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I really thank you all for the feedback on this
mnm,The way I plan on setting this up I can limit the graze time they have to keep from eating to much at a time.I hadn't thought about giving them some before but will do it if I do it next fall.As far as weather and price life a gamble I just hope I don't go in the hole to deep more concerned about death but roll the dice.

Kenny,
Haven't really thought about size or weight wasn't aware of their teeth not being able to eat it well.I was just reading other posts and started thinking of this.I don't know of any one around here doing this with planted corn to talk to about it.I do know one guy who winters with hay and lays the grain to them before selling in the fall but I was trying to keep cost down.How old would they have to be to eat standing corn?I assume the age would be the factor above the weight wouldn't it ?I have never planted corn other than garden so hadn't thought about broadcast which would be alot easier. How would you cover it?
 

kenny thomas

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I have not tried just calves on the corn stalks. Just know that the ones with their mothers don't use it much. The young cows do not even seem to use it as well as the older cows. Maybe it is a learned thing. There are a lot of people, including myself, who use the stalks and waste corn for the cows after the corn is harvested. This is what most of the posts are refering to.
I do graze some small calves on wheat during the winter. They do well on it.
If nothing else try a small area and see how it works.
As for covering it I would use something like a chain drag or a disc set so it would not cover it too deep. Just cover it as deep as you would in your garden.
 

mnmtranching

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Broadcasted corn does not work well.

My recommendation to plant thick in rows and cultivate will get the most out of your investment. The whole idea of planting thick is to have lots of smallish ears instead of fewer big ears. Even cows will waste a high percentage of the big ears. Calves should be at least 5 hundred pounds and will learn quickly to feed on small ears, husk and leaves. Still there will be waste. Especially in wet weather. The whole idea of the harvest methods is to control the feeding, minimize the waste. It's a lot different then putting cows out on a combined corn field. Cows make good use of what is otherwise waste.

Rusty I think, give it a try. You got to keep the costs down. Corn won't compete with weeds so you got to cultivate or use herbicide. Whichever you can do the cheapest.
 
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rusty

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I will have to factor in other variables before the final decision but I will probably do something.I may downsize to begin with to see how it works.Like I said before I have plenty of hay but not enough pasture.I would rather build up my herd but i've about reached my limit and there are to many farmers around here selling hay so I figure buy steers to winter and sell in the spring.
Again thank you all for your input.One more question.How much area per head will I need to plant corn to build weight?
 

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