Tips for Winter Grazing
Characteristics of a good grazing hybrid:
- Early silage hybrids are the best option for winter grazing.
- Choose hybrids that will reach 50% milk at first killing frost.
- Select hybrids that produce high forage yields and high digestibility.
- Choose hybrids with known standability.
- Use a high-quality electric fence to partition off your corn field.
- In the beginning, slowly introduce your herd to corn.
- Limit exposure and supplement with hay until the cows start to become comfortable.
- Limit cows to three or four days of feed at a time. This limits their ability to overindulge on cobs and ensures they clean up the stalks. It also minimizes the risk of potentially life-threatening rumen acidosis
- Clear alleyways for your fence. This allows the cattle to move through the paddock in the initial turnout.
- Having a shelter for the herd is ideal; it can be bush or a portable windbreaker shelter.
- Access to soft fresh snow or a viable water source is a MUST.
- Take whole plant samples to ensure you know what nutrients your cows are getting.
- Watch for signs of grain overload during years of full cob development as cows eat the cobs first and come back for stalks afterwards.
- Wait for the cattle to clean up stalks before moving them to the next paddock.
- Wait until ground is firm/frozen as this will minimize the loss of feed that is trampled and lost in the mud.
- Always have a supply of back-up feed. Heavy snow or extreme cold and bad weather can add challenges to the cattle grazing.
- Plant two or three different hybrids spread over your maturity range. This allows for you to spread out your maturity and acres for a given area.
PRIDE Seeds Best Grazing Hybrids
|PRIDE Seeds Grazing Products||Corn Heat Units (CHUs)||Hybrid Characteristics|
|AS 1017RR EDF||2150||Earliest, tall, staygreen, excellent health.|
|A4705HMRR||2225||High moisture, strong stalks, benchmark.|
|A4646G2 RIB||2300||New, healthy staygreen, traits for corn borer.|
|A4939G2 RIB||2400||Traited for corn borer, high yielder, corn on corn.|
|AS1037RR EDF||2450||Tall, very good vigour, excellent stalks, excellent feed quality.|
Why winter grazing is a win, win
- No need to start your tractor in harsh cold conditions.
- No manure management; it’s already in the field.
- Winter grazing can provide beef cattle with a high-quality nutrient source into mid and late stages of pregnancy.
- Minimal summer feed harvesting is needed.
Acres of corn needed
- Plan for 200 cow days per acre of corn.
- Acres required for 200 cows for 30 days of grazing:
- 200 cows X 30 days = 6,000 cow grazing days required.
- 6,000 cow grazing days / 200 cow days per acre = 30 acres corn.
- Insert your own numbers for your specific farm needs.