Grazing corn residue can cut winter feeding costs, but feed supplements such as distillers grains are often necessary to supplement nutrients, according to an article by Grainnews.com (http://bit.ly/…).
The cornstalks, leaves, husks and some intact ears left after harvest provide about 50 pounds of total residue for grazing beef cows per bushel of corn harvest. Only about 25% of that is useable feed due to weather degradation and cattle wastage.
The feed value of stover is comparable to wheat or barley straw. So to support early to mid-gestation beef cows, nutrient supplements are necessary. Many producers supplement dried distillers grains to supplement energy and protein. Since DDG is 75% TDN and 28% crude protein, producers can add about 3.5 lbs. of DDG to raise a diet with 23 lbs. of residue from 5-8% protein.
Although more costly, distillers grains or molasses-based lick blocks can also be used for cattle grazing on corn stover fields.
Cheryl Anderson can be reached at Cheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org
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