John Maddux, Maddux Cattle Company in Wauneta, Neb., offers his advice from 40-plus years of grazing corn residues:
1. One strand of electric wire makes great portable fencing, but be sure to get it set up before the ground freezes, otherwise a simple chore can turn into a real headache.
2. The best way to keep a good relationship with a farmer is to make sure cattle stay inside the fence. When moving from field to field, keep cattle on the road and out of other fields along the way. Train cattle to stay on the road when they are moved.
3. Take a long-term approach and pay farmers rent on fields you originally agreed to use, but weren’t able to because of heavy snowfall.
4. Keeping a high stocking rate and short field time will decrease cattle trailing impacts to water tanks, and improve cattle performance by keeping them continually moving to new fresh fields with the prospect of another shot of corn.
5. If you can, strategically graze cattle starting at the farthest field from the ranch and moving cattle back, field to field, closer to home. That way you’re only paying trucking one way.
Note: This story appeared in the October 2016 issue of Drovers.