Growing corn for feed

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thendrix
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Growing corn for feed

Postby thendrix » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:34 pm

We have a small cow\calf operation and I'm looking for alternatives to buying feed. We have a 2 acre patch that is not connected to our main property and has no running water. I thought rather then mowing it, why not plant corn and use it for feed? There is full sunlight on about an acre and I think I'm going to try it. There is a local mill here that will grind it for me once it is harvested. Any thoughts\suggestions on practices, variety, etc.? We grow a small garden every year and I know how to plant on a small scale but I have never tried it on a scale this large and wondered if there are diffrences.
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inbredredneck
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby inbredredneck » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:08 pm

Harvesting by hand or with a machine?
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cypressfarms
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby cypressfarms » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:20 pm

You're going to need to fertilize it, or it won't be worth the effort. I'll never do it myself. As a kid, I still have memories of pulling ears and throwing them in the trailer; and it's not exactly cool out when corn is ready to be pulled. I would, however, plant some and let the cows do the pulling for me. Once a cow sees another eat an ear of standing corn, you won't be able to hold them back.
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby highgrit » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:55 pm

Corn will not grow without water. Lost 15 acres last year, just no rain.
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby B&M Farms » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:34 pm

cypressfarms wrote:You're going to need to fertilize it, or it won't be worth the effort. I'll never do it myself. As a kid, I still have memories of pulling ears and throwing them in the trailer; and it's not exactly cool out when corn is ready to be pulled. I would, however, plant some and let the cows do the pulling for me. Once a cow sees another eat an ear of standing corn, you won't be able to hold them back.


You got that right! The only fond memories I have of a corn field were catching grasshoppers and heading to the creek.
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thendrix
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby thendrix » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:15 am

Wow! Looks like the general concensus is no. I may try it for a year and see how it goes. Call me hard headed I guess but who isn't.
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby Douglas » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:39 am

Not following you. Are you going to have someone harvest the corn and then have it ground, or are you going to pick the corn and cob together and grind it all. A lot of people think grinding shelled corn is not worth the cost, and just feed it shelled. There are also a lot of people who grind the cob and corn together and it works pretty good. If you are having to pay to get the corn picked, might as well sell the corn and buy hay or by-product feed. Now, if you are trying to finish a feeder your idea may be a good one.
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thendrix
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby thendrix » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:16 pm

The plan is I\we will do the plowing, planting, etc. then have corn and cob ground for feed. Then feed the stalk as well for filler. The whole idea came up because I bought some corn gluten from a friend of mine and have been feeding it. At the time we checked on prices for more and it was $240\ton. I just want to see if I can get quality for a little cheaper by putting in some work.
And instead of burning the fuel to mow it and getting nothing, I can burn a little more but get something I can use.
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby Farmerjon » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:29 pm

Very good ongoing thread about this now. Check it out at: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=75238
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby Douglas » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:52 pm

Every year i feed my sweet corn stalks from the garden to the calves while they are still green. They like it enought that i use it as an incentive to rotate to new paddock. I get where you are coming from on using somthing you can raise on your place with work instead of spending money on feed. I am also guessing by mowing you mean with a rotary mower not mowing for hay.
The problem is that most adult cows don't need anything better than good hay. So you would have a high quality feed that maybe overkill so to speak. On the thread mentioned above the discussion is about using the cows to harvest which is not what you are doing. I would suggest trying to raise something you can bale and feed on that parcel, or trying this on a smaller scale like a few extra rows in the garden first. You could use a round up ready corn (1 acre) to avoid plowing and you could eliminate any unwanted grasses or weeds for a future use by spraying it.
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby hillbillycwo » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:14 pm

Do a search on the internet for Pearl millet. It is drought resistant and can be baled for use later. Yeilds pretty good tonnage. You can even graze it if you can figure a way to get the cows to water. I am planning on putting in some this spring and see how it does my cows. Just a thought.
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thendrix
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby thendrix » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:42 pm

Looks like the two acres is out. I got more info from my grandpa about it and he says it's got some ditches on it and I couldn't see them from the road. Haven't been on that patch since I was a KID. Thanks for the info though. There are other places around here to plant extra corn and I may try some of them this summer. Again thanks
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby terra8186 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:47 pm

I used to grow just 2 acres of corn and really enjoyed doing it. It takes a couple of years before you get the hang of it. The main problems are weed control and fertilizer. I have an atv sprayer and I would spray round-up every 3 weeks until it was big enough to shade the weeds. The big problem is that I couldn't put it on at the right concentration. I either stunted the growth or didn't put enough on.

I use a 3pt spreader to spread 600 lbs of fertilizer/acre (200 lbs N, and others to soil sample results).

I had it shelled by a local farmer with a combine and he put it in a grain cart. I add minerals and feed my "feeder cattle".

2 acres of corn @ 135 bushel/acre gives me 13,000 lbs of grain for $650.

I have also been planting corn by broadcasting with some success. You could use this method if you let the cattle harvest it themselves.
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby rustybottoms88 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:47 am

Thread revivaI! I have 40 head of fall calving cows and have thought of growing a few acres of corn to feed them. I live in Northern Arkansas and we have little to no row crop equipment around here. I figure a guy could buy some old used equipment cheap from up north but as best I can figure one would have more money invested then he would save. Atleast initially. But for fun I would Iike to know what all the nesscessay equipment would be. I could rent a no till drill and use roundup ready corn. After that I would need an old two row or single row self propelled combine I guess even a pull behind type would work. Would I need a grain bin to dry it? Or is corn dry enough at harvest? I would need a grain cart as well I guess. Discuss!
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Re: Growing corn for feed

Postby HDRider » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:15 pm

My brother is doing it. He bought an old, but good corn picker, and an old grinder, up in Wisconsin I think. It picks cob and all. He grinds it and feeds it. He put in a well and pivot system. Set up a grain bin. He grazes the stubble. Works great.

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