A tough drought is forcing many U.S. beef producers to scramble this fall to find alternative sources of winter beef cattle feed, as hay has become rare and/or prohibitively expensive. One potential source is cornstalk grazing, which researchers say can save over $1/day/cow compared to feeding expensive hay.
"With no more yield potential to gain and fairly dry grain, consider harvesting corn early to get some stalks and provide respite for your pastures," advises Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln forage specialist....More
A new survey shows that cover crop usage by farmers is on the upswing. The survey is the work of the Conservation and Technology Information Center and USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program....More
Despite the fact that more than 70% of the U.S. was impacted by a drought in 2012, the U.S. harvested 11.8 billion bu. of corn last year. One would think that a smaller U.S. cowherd combined with a corn surplus would translate into cheaper cattle feed prices, but competition from ethanol and the food industry means producers can expect continued high feed prices....More
With high feed prices expected to continue at least until the 2013 harvest, what can producers do to get the best value for each beef cattle feed dollar spent? Three simple steps to maximize return on your cattle feed expenditures are: 1) work with a nutritionist; 2) investigate alternative feed ingredients; and, 3) put a plan in place....More
Some farmers are beginning to graze drought-stressed corn stalks as a source of cattle feed and are encountering nitrate toxicity problems. Remember that nitrate accumulates in the stalk and is more concentrated in the lower stalk than the leaves and upper stalk....More
Many producers have turned to letting cattle graze corn fodder as a cost-effective cattle feed amid record-setting drought. But a Purdue Extension animal scientist says there are certain precautions to take to keep animals healthy....More