Was wondering if anyone in the group has ever used cornstalks or
soybeans in the place of hay. I know there are a few others on here
that have livestock. We have decided to bale the cornstalks &
soybeans to use as hay. Have heard of others doing this, and a lot of
locals will probably be following in our footsteps in this, since we
have a severe shortage of hay this year.
How do the cattle & horses take to it? Has anyone had any success with
Cattlemen I once helped fed baled corn stalks to their cattle in a bad
hay year. They suplemented heavily with Range Cubes to make up for the
lack of protein and nutrients in the corn stalks.
The cattle weren't very enthused about the baled stalks, but they ate.
Here is a link from NC from this year...........it is a PDF file.
Same article in HTML format
Soybean residue is a poorer quality feed than corn stalks and needs
supplemention as well.
Soybean stems are very low in feed value, and animals should not be
forced to consume them. Most of the nutritive value of soybean stover
comes from the pods and leaves. This residue is most efficiently
harvested by grazing ruminants.
Cached article on gooble.............
October 18, 2002
Grazing Soybean Stubble Requires Supplementing Protein
LINCOLN, Neb. Producers putting their cattle out to graze soybean
stubble this fall need to be sure their herds are getting enough
protein, a University of Nebraska forage specialist said.
Unlike cornstalks, soybean stubble provides little protein to cattle,
but it still is a valuable feed resource this fall due to reduced
pasture grazing, and tight and expensive hay supplies, said Bruce
Anderson, forage specialist for the Institute of Agriculture and
"When most of us think of soybeans, we think high protein, so we expect
soybean residues also will be a high protein food," Anderson said.
"Unfortunately, the opposite is true because soybean residue often is
very low in protein."
Soybean stems and pods contain only about 4 percent to 6 percent crude
protein, but dry beef cows need about 7 percent to 8 percent crude
protein each day, he said.
"Even though leaves can be up to 12 percent protein, it's only around
one-third digestible," he said. "In fact, protein digestibility is low
in all bean residues."
Soybean residue is even lower in energy content, Anderson said.
Its total digestible nutrients average between 35 percent to 45 percent
for leaves, stems and pods, he said. Unless cows grazing soybean
residues also find and eat quite a few beans, they can lose weight and
body condition quickly.
"Cattle must be fed quite a bit of higher energy and protein feeds to
make up for these deficiencies in soybean residues," Anderson said.
"Supplementing soybean stubble with alfalfa hay, corn silage and many
byproducts can help form a more complete ration."
One good way to use soybean stubble is as an extender of much higher
quality hay or silage, Anderson said.
"Cattle can be fed sufficient hay or silage to meet most of their
nutrient needs, then finish filling their intake desire with the
soybean stubble," he said.
Bruce Anderson - Ph.D
Care and Good Thru the Winter
Charlie, I read what you posted here concerning feeding
soybeans to cattle. here's what a friend up in Franklin
county did last year. he cut soybeans with a hay cutter
in september before any foliage began to turn and drop.
he let them lay for about 2 days and then raked and round
bailed them. transported the bails into his cattle lots
then busted and spread the bails. the cows ate it up. he
also had hay for them but the cows showed a preference for
the soybean. I'm a wake county bean farmer and I could not
believe he did it because he had a beautiful crop with a
potential of 65 to 70 bushels to the acre and beans came
off the combine at $6.05 to $6.30 around here last year.
he later told me he was sure he got the $6.05 to $6.30 and
some back during the sale of his beef cattle.
I don't really know what your interest might be in bean
farming but I'll share my collection of bean farming web
page pictures with you just on the chance you might care
to have a look see.
Howdy neighbor Jim,
Since I was the OP, I eavesdropped on your reply to Charlie....
Glad to hear of the success your friend had while using soybeans as
feed. Makes me feel a little better about it. You reckon the beans
will pull good at market again? Down here in Sampson, crops don't look
too good at all. Enjoyed checking out your page. As a side note/
question, you ever do business with Asgrow? Who was the supplier you
tried out on the lime page? I think I recognize the logo on the
trucks, but can't make it out too good....
this is my local point of sale:
$8.23 this morning and with the major reduction in bean
acreage this year due to farmers going with corn coupled
with the new biodiesel facilities coming on line right
here in NC and then reduced yields due to this blasted
drought I'm feeling like the supports are in place for a
good market this fall.
crops up here in Wake, Franklin and Johnston counties are weak.
the only real rains this year have been from small spotty thunder
thanks. I enjoy picture taking, it's kind of a hobby.
they are out of Wilson NC but my contact is in Wendell named,
Wendell Farm Market. they can be reached at 919-365-6402.
the applicator truck is GPS equipped and has always done an
excellent job of being able to adjust the application rate
while moving over the land as a result of the GPS mapping
created from soil samples. GPS on the crop producing farm
is good stuff.
Same here in the rainfall department. Northern parts of the county
have gotten more rain than we have here.
just wondering...my grandfather was a dealer up that way after
retiring from the ag office. also used to be the greene co ag. ext.
I thought I recognized it. My (bio-)dad works for Wilson County Farm
Supply. He does most of the field work...taking the samples, driving
the Prowler, etc. I'm originally from Wilson County. Saratoga, to be
exact. I didn't move down this way til '98.
Thanks for the input & links. After we (hubby & I) had started talking
about trying the cornstalks & soybeans, the local office of the FSA
started releasing news statements for the farmers to try to do so.
Claim that the round bales of each could be sold for at least $35.00
or so, and that the soybean farmers would make more profit from the
beans by selling them as hay this year since the crops were so damaged
from the drought & heat.
We have already started baling the cornstalks, know some locals that
want to have their soybeans baled so they don't lose their cattle.
Stockyard business is booming with cattlemen taking their cattle to
the market early this year, to keep from having to over-winter them
with the lack of hay. This year, cattlemen & hay farmers alike will be
taking a big punch in the stomach when it comes to profits. Have to do
something to stay afloat. Especially us little guys...so I'm trying to
do as much research as I can on this.
Still doing the google thing....UGH!
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