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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335510

Research Project: Management and Soil Resource Evaluation to Enhance Agricultural System Resilience and Sustainability

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Corn residue utilization by livestock in the USA

Author
item Schmer, Marty
item Brown, Rachael - Economic Research Serivce (ERS, USDA)
item Jin, Virginia
item Mitchell, Robert - Rob
item Redfearn, Daren - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Agricultural and Environmental Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2016
Publication Date: 1/19/2017
Citation: Schmer, M.R., Brown, R.M., Jin, V.L., Mitchell, R., Redfearn, D.D. 2017. Corn residue utilization by livestock in the USA. Agricultural and Environmental Letters. 2:160043.

Interpretive Summary: Corn (Zea mays L.) residue grazing or harvest provides a simple and economical practice to integrate crops and livestock. Limited information is available on how widespread corn residue utilization is practiced by US producers. In 2010, the USDA-ERS surveyed producers from 19 states on corn grain and residue management practices. Total corn residue grazed or harvested was 12 million acres. Approximately 10 million acres were grazed by 11.7 million livestock (primarily cattle) in 2010. The majority of grazed corn residue occurred in Nebraska (4.7 million acres), Iowa (951,000 acres), South Dakota (892,000 acres) and Kansas (850,000 acres). Average grazing days ranged from 10 to 73 d (mean = 40 d). Corn residue harvests predominantly occurred in the central and northern Corn Belt with an estimated 3.2 million tons of corn residue harvested and baled across the 19 states. This survey highlights the importance of corn residue for U.S. livestock particularly in the western Corn Belt.

Technical Abstract: Corn (Zea mays L.) residue grazing or harvest provides a simple and economical practice to integrate crops and livestock. Limited information is available on how widespread corn residue utilization is practiced by US producers. In 2010, the USDA-ERS surveyed producers from 19 states on corn grain and residue management practices. Total corn residue grazed or harvested was 4.87 million ha. Approximately 4.06 million ha were grazed by 11.7 million livestock (primarily cattle) in 2010. The majority of grazed corn residue occurred in Nebraska (1.91 million ha), Iowa (385,000 ha), South Dakota (361,000 ha) and Kansas (344,000 ha). Average grazing days ranged from 10 to73 d (mean = 40 d). Corn residue harvests predominantly occurred in the central and northern Corn Belt with an estimated 2.9 Tg of corn residue harvested across the 19 states. This survey highlights the importance of corn residue for U.S. livestock particularly in the western Corn Belt.