Monday, October 22, 2012

The Luxury of Menu Choice, Cattle on Stubble

 We finished the corn harvest a week ago and it didn't take long to get the cattle onto the field to enjoy the rich stubble. 
 Stubble, or the residue left on a field following harvest, is important to the land. It is organic matter and the land needs it to replenish its resources for another season.
 When cattle graze the stubble, they take 30% of what is consumed with them when they leave.
Seventy percent is returned to the earth in manure.  
The net loss in organic matter is a simple trade off in net gain for the cattle. The cattle seem to enjoy the green of the barley stubble.
We have happy cows this time of year. 
I think the older and wiser cows know how rich and delicious the corn ground is, with corn kernels and occasional cobs in the stubble. 
 A dusting of snow would make the photo prettier, but we are still in October, so we aren't wishing for that. Last year we didn't get the cows onto the corn until November, which is more typical.
Since the pastures were so dry all Summer, we are glad to give the cattle a choice of corn or barley in the stubble fields of GriggsDakota.

1 comment:

  1. They're going to need more than some stakes and thin barbed wire to keep all that beef enclosed. Personally, I'd use reinforced fence material.