Corn Stalks: Winter Grazing And Costs Involved


Corn Stalks

Corn Stalks

A 15-year study by the University of Nebraska has shown that grazing corn stalks in the fall do not reduce subsequent soybean and corn plants’ yield.

For winter grazing, “said Bruce Anderson, feed specialist at UNL

cornstalks can save a dollar per day per cow compared to feeding expensive hay. 

The cost of grazing cornstalks is lower for the pasture cows because they harvest their fodder.

And the cost of producing the crops for cereal production is attributed to the production of row crops. 

Because many farmers already have a makeshift fence, Anderson says, livestock can cut grazing corn stalks into the ground to feed high-priced hay. 

Grazing corn He said that stalks are an essential part of grass feeds, which are valued because they are more affordable and more efficient than other feeds, such as hay from other crops.

Costs & Expenses of Corn Stalks

Therefore, the costs must be taken into account and affect the amount you can pay for cornstalks.

There is a fixed price for the rent of corn stalk, which is the basis for pricing, but grazing on the spot is not shared, and therefore one has to develop one’s own pricing.

Last ten years, I have been farming in Nebraska and was able to strike enough bales to cover the need for two heifers per lot easily.

About 1 hectare of corn stalks is needed to feed a cow for 30 days, or 1,000 pounds of hay per cow.

About 1 hectare of stalks must be fed to cows for 30 days, and about 1 hectare of corn stalks is needed for another 1 / 2 hectare for cows.

When there is so much maize, it is essential to keep a close eye on any cattle that graze on the cornstalks.

In years with a lot of corn cultivation and high humidity, you should also keep a close eye on all animals grazing on stalks.


A standard Vermeer Super M baler will bale corn stalks, but some unique designs for corn stalks are of design for custom operators who want to produce more in less time.

Instead of remembering an equation, an Excel table helps you determine the specific corn yield required for a certain number of cows.

Luckily, a tool from the University of Nebraska can assist. Called the “Corn Stalk Grazing Calculator,” One can download this Excel spreadsheet from:

The scenario goes like this. I do have 25 cows, weighing around 1,400 lbs each. And my neighbor has a 40-acre corn-field. He thinks of leasing to me. 

How many days of pasturing will these 40 ar of corn stalks provide? The spreadsheet will require few inputs:

  • Corn yield. This directly influences the number of leftovers at hand. I used 125 bu/acre.
  • Stalk harvest efficiency. The proposal is 50 %.
  • Nutritional value of leftover. I used the figures in Table 1 of this article.
  • Transport and management trip to observe the livestock. The livestock was near the neighbor, and the cost of freight and time to visit would be minimal.

Using this calculator, we can see that 40 acres could support 25 cows for 45 days.