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cornstalk bales revisited

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:17 am
by talltimber
Getting dry here, and I've got enough hay for an average winter. If it doesn't rain, that's no where near enough. There is still some hay around for sale, I guess reasonably priced, 30/bale for 5x5 for unknown quality fescue. I talked with a fella the other day that is gonna roll some stalks on some of his corn ground. He runs a, iirc, 4x5 or 4x4, silage baler. What should a guy expect to give for a bale of stalks that size? What might the protein level of a cornstalk bale be? I am wondering how much feed or other supplement I will need to feed along with those bales? I realize the nutritional value could be all over the board but what is a common value. Dang sure haven't been wet. Thoughts?

Re: cornstalk bales revisited

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:15 am
by ALACOWMAN
Not much protein in corn stalk hay,,, are your cows going into winter dry?? If so, they well do ok... But I'd use a protein supplement...

Re: cornstalk bales revisited

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:04 pm
by sim.-ang.king
The stalks themselves hold most of the nutrition in the plant, getting the cows to eat it is the real problem. Getting someone with a roto grinder to grind them up, will in prove intake.

Re: cornstalk bales revisited

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:17 pm
by talltimber
sak, I had fed a few left over bales a few years ago. They'd eat it before a hay bale, so maybe they will again, idk.

ACM, no, most cows will have calves on them.

Re: cornstalk bales revisited

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:25 pm
by jedstivers
I baled almost 500 bales of corn fodder.
I raised the chopper on the combine and let the shucks and cobs drop in a windrow. Rain the baler right behind it.
Makes a much better feed as there are not many stalks in the bales and I don't have to run a cutter or rake. I did have to go to 5 wraps of net though.
See if he'll bale that way for you. Be a lot less wasted stalk you'll be buying and handling for the cattle to not eat it.

Re: cornstalk bales revisited

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:46 pm
by Texas PaPaw
Google "cowculator" then download the spreadsheet and instructions. This is a ration calculator spreadsheet for beef cows. It has standardized feed analysis values for many different feed ingredients. Use spreadsheet to run various supplement mixes to use with the stalk bales until you find a combo that will keep your cows in good nutrition. It has options for calculating for both dry and lactating cows.

May take a few hours of running different supplement mixes to find one that works best for your situation.
For me this has been a very valuable tool for figuring out the most economical way to winter feed cows using cotton gin trash as my majority ingredient. FWIW Most corn stalks probably have slightly more energy and less protein than the gin trash. Maybe use some corn or soy hulls for energy and ddg or gluten for protein. A lactating cow will need quite a bit of both protein and energy supplement to maintain body condition and rebreed eating stalk bales.