• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

corn stalks

Help Support Ranchers.net:


Well-known member
Aug 19, 2007
Reaction score
I found some corn stalks that will be thrashed for grain this fall/winter.

And the farmer was excited to have cows graze it off so he didn't have to bale the cornstalks, now he wants to work em into the ground, says he will have a better crop next year and not have to put on more fertilizer.

I would of thought he would have to put on more Nitrogen anyhow and that grazing and spreading compost would be way better.

Would you all give me your thoughts, I am not a professional farmer but hopefully would still like to talk him into letting me put cows on it for a few months

which leads me to another question, I have not fed alot on cornstalks.

I will have fall pairs so, likely I would creep the calves with a little hay, but can you assume 1 cow to 1 acre for 3 to 4 months
Corn stalks with a protein supplement it will usually take 2 to 3 (depends on how good corn is) acres for a month per cow, unless you are supplementing with hay. The better the corn the better the grazing. Once the corn, shucks,and leaves are gone they arent to happy. I usually dont graze cornstalks unless they are close and dont cost much, I prefer milo stalks then you get by with 1 cow per acre for a month, and they can still do well on milo with snow on ground. In this part of the country you are damn lucky to find a farmer to rent his stalks and if you do treat them right because I have rented before and little things like driving in the fields and feeding in the fields tends to get them sodbusters panties in a bunch. I graze stalks from right after harvest to March 1 every year and it really saves alot of feed cost and with the price of grass it is hard to justify winter grazing anymore.
I supplement thousands of cows on stalks in the winter, and if you can get milo stalks, you normally have some good stuff. Corn stalks have evolved, over the last 15 years or so, into giving the cattleman a false sense of security, cause anymore, what with Bt corn and all, there ain't much there for the cows....even if you force them to graze what there is, it sure doesn't amount to much, and the cattle will go downhill.

I complained, along with a lot of other dealers, that the cows weren't doing all that well on stalks with our signature ORE-BAC product. Now we have Loomix-HF (High Fat), which should really do a good job supplying more energy along with protein, to help get the cows back in shape during the fall & winter. HF may be especially helpful in a fall cow situation. There are some great Loomix dealers in Idaho. PM me if you would like more info.
We graze standing corn, and have found that if you do this, you absolutely HAVE to keep good minerals in front of them. Their calcium levels will get out of whack otherwise. We use a 3:1 mineral when the cows are in the corn.
You are so correct about the mineral, Kato. For one thing corn has
a lot of phos so if you feed a higher phos mineral cattle won't eat
the mineral (phos is a limiter) and therefore won't get their trace
minerals which will cause problems. Other things get out of whack
too...potassium...magnesium and they could get a winter tetnany
problem. We have seen this with feeding solely wheat hay---lots of
phos in it and the cattle didn't eat their mineral because of the
phosphorus content. Some of these cattle went down due to the
mineral imbalance in their system. Soon as we put them on a less
phos mineral, they consumed the required amount and the problem
went away.
Have tried loomix before, but the stalks didnt last long, they just ate and ate and ate, they were content and looked great but just ate like crazy, and when we brought home for calving and feed a certain amount of hay per head they were never satisfied, we had to set out straw bales for them to chew on. Last 2 years have fed 2 lbs. of ddgs pellets on the ground from about january thru may 1 and a good mineral program is a must we are very happy with the vitaferm mineral we are using. Usually fed 4 lb. every other or 5 lb. every third day on good stalks and easy winter. I know the loomixguy will pry say but then you got to go feed everyday or every other and with loomix you dont have to, but everyday in the winter i got to go chop ice and check fence so might as well feed them and then they are ten times easy to gather and drive because they are used to coming to you.

Latest posts