Supplement Crop Residue Grazing

Nov 01, 2021

With harvest well under way or in some cases almost completed, cattlemen have an excellent opportunity to save on feed costs by turning cows onto crop residue, particularly corn stubble. Even though residue is very low in quality, spring calving cows in mid-gestation are at their lowest nutrient requirements. However, they will still need some supplementation especially protein to feed the bacteria in the rumen to help convert the poor forage into usable energy.

The longer the cows stay on the residue it becomes even more important to feed additional protein and mineral to keep cows in good condition as they approach the final period of gestation.  A good rule of thumb on grazing corn residue is 30 cow days per 100 bu. of corn harvested.

Alfalfa hay, distillers grain, lick barrels and range cubes are all excellent alternatives to provide the needed nutrients required by cows on corn residue.  Each have their own advantages and disadvantages depending on the grower’s situation.  Contact your SFG feed specialist to find the solution that works best for you.