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  #1  
Old 01/06/17, 08:08 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 219
Corn field to pasture

I'm looking at a piece of land in central Illinois that is currently a cornfield. For the past three years, the field has averaged over 200 bushels/acre. Assuming I plant the right pasture mix and manage it well, how many pounds of animal do you think each acre could support?
I know the standard answer is it depends. Here's a little more information on the weather in central IL.
http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate...tates/usil0935
The plot has a gentle slope with well draining soil. There's a small creek at the border of the property that does run dry if it doesn't rain for a few weeks.
I've been looking for pasture stocking rates for the area, but haven't found anything real useful. Maybe someone here can give me some insight.
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  #2  
Old 01/06/17, 08:33 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureFarm View Post
I'm looking at a piece of land in central Illinois that is currently a cornfield. For the past three years, the field has averaged over 200 bushels/acre. Assuming I plant the right pasture mix and manage it well, how many pounds of animal do you think each acre could support?

I know the standard answer is it depends. Here's a little more information on the weather in central IL.

http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate...tates/usil0935

The plot has a gentle slope with well draining soil. There's a small creek at the border of the property that does run dry if it doesn't rain for a few weeks.

I've been looking for pasture stocking rates for the area, but haven't found anything real useful. Maybe someone here can give me some insight.

As we look at land, I've been using this -----> a little more insight than the standard 1x cow per acre or 4-5 goats, etc..

https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/F...rdb1097070.pdf
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  #3  
Old 01/06/17, 08:49 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 219
I saw that article the other day. I don't know how many tons of forage the land will produce though. Do you know of some calculation that could predict how many tons of hay per acre land will produce, given bushels per acre of corn?
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Old 01/06/17, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Florida
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Corn field to pasture

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Originally Posted by FutureFarm View Post
I saw that article the other day. I don't know how many tons of forage the land will produce though. Do you know of some calculation that could predict how many tons of hay per acre land will produce, given bushels per acre of corn?

Well that's something else I've looked and you may have found this article as well-clearly you have fertile land so the calculation "may" be higher due to numerous factors,but I think this should give you a good idea.



https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/fora...hay-yields.pdf
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Old 01/06/17, 10:50 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northern Michigan (U.P.)
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This is something that you can't master from a 2 minute youtube video.

I understand you have top notch corn ground. Are you keeping livestock off until the pasture mix is well established? The first year the grasses will just be starting to fill in.

Put the livestock too early and you are behind the eight ball the rest of the season. Rotational grazing helps, too. A dry summer changes everything, too. You'll often have too much pasture in June, too little in August.

I'd think that good Illinois corn ground is above $5000 an acre. Might be better to grow corn, sell it and buy hay.

Lets say you managed it well and grew 3 ton of forage per acre. Take the moisture out to get a dry forage number, you are a bit over a ton. Cattle need 3 pounds of feed to grow a pound. So, in one season, an acre can grow 2 calves from starting weight of 300 pounds to butcher, 1000 pounds. Add in ground corn and minerals, vaccinations, wormer, fly protection and some hay to start the season.
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