Grazing corn residues cuts costs of wintering beef cows
By NDSU Extension
Grazing corn residues is one way to reduce the cost of wintering beef cows in the upper Midwest, a North Dakota State University cattle expert says.
“With the increase in corn acres in North Dakota and the surrounding region this year, availability of corn residue also has increased, making this practice even more attractive,” says Greg Lardy, NDSU Extension Service beef cattle specialist.
Corn residue left behind after harvest includes the stalk, leaf, husk and cob, as well as downed ears. The amount of downed ears varies with the corn variety, but it can be as much as 3 to 5 bushels of corn per acre.
Generally, approximately 50 pounds of residue is left on the field per bushel of corn harvested. For example, if you harvest 120 bushels of corn, you can expect about 6,000 pounds of residue per acre (120 bushels times 50 pounds of residue per bushel).