Wednesday, November 2, 2011

From the Pasture to the Corn Ground

I noticed that things get shadowy early in the afternoon this time of year as I waited for the trailers of cattle to arrive.
Some of their old friends were waiting with me. 
Soon Cattleman Jim and Grandpa Sonny pulled in. Jim opened the fence, which is a temporary electric wire surrounding the field. 
The cows were sniffing the air as they drove onto the corn field. 
 Their friends had been enjoying the gourmet menu for a couple of days. Grandpa Sonny opened his trailer. 
When we combine cornfields some cobs are left behind, plus there are kernels here and there from wind and spills. Cattle will eat all of the corn kernels that are available, plus some of the dried leaves and husks. They do not eat the cobs or the stalks.
The cows and calves trot out of the trailer. 
 They can hardly wait to get their noses to the ground. The corn stover is as much of a treat for them in the Fall as fresh grass is in the Spring. They will probably stay on corn stover until the snow covers the ground. We hope that is a few weeks away, but we can't be sure.
About thirty percent of what is consumed by the cattle will leave the land with them. 
Seventy percent of the consumed organic matter will be returned to the ground in their waste. The fields are closer to home and it is easier to keep an eye on things in the herd. Soon it will be time to wean the calves and prepare to feed them hay.
But today, there are happy cattle in GriggsDakota.

2 comments:

  1. Great post Mom! This blog post reminds me of my friend Val Wagner saying "If cows didn't love corn we wouldn't have to have fences!" Love seeing the cows on corn.

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  2. Beautiful photo of the cow against the cloud-filled sky. Magnificent and moving...(or moo-ving if you're the cow!)

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