Iowa State University researchers estimate that only 20 percent of the available food value left as crop residue is utilized through grazing. To improve the consumption of the available feed, livestock should be managed to graze only 1 acre per cow per month. By strip grazing crop residue, livestock will consume the available nutrition throughout the winter months.

Wide variations in the feed value of crop aftermath exist due to harvesting and weather conditions, or the disease level of the plant. If there is enough grain left on the ground after harvest, livestock may not need as much supplementation. Most crop residues are low in phosphorus and Vitamin A, so feed a mineral mixture containing stabilized Vitamin A and di-calcium phosphate free choice.

Some widely used crop residues include grain sorghum stubble, wheat stubble and corn stalks. Producers often consider corn stalks as the most valuable because cows generally maintain condition better when pastured on corn stalks. This is credited to the greater palatability of corn stalks, according to Eugene Francis, Kansas State University extension animal science and industry specialist.