Grazing corn stalks containing excess grain
The Breeders Connection
Extra grain left behind by the combine can be a bonus for cattle grazing corn stalks, but too much grain can cause health problems.
Any time more than about eight bushels of grain per acre is left in the field after harvest, grazing cattle risk getting acidosis and founder. Both diseases are caused by excessive grain intake, which increases rumen acid production. This can cause severe foot and hoof problems, including lameness. While smut is not a health problem, some grain may contain other molds that can produce mycotoxins. Vomitoxin and fumonisin rarely cause problems for beef cattle at typical contamination levels; however, aflatoxin may be more of a concern this year. (See story in this week’s CropWatch.) If you suspect mycotoxin may be present, assay the grain to determine the extent of the potential problem.