Renting Crop Residue for Grazing: A Checklist for first-time renters

Renting Crop Residue for Grazing: A Checklist for first-time renters

September 2012

cattle grazing corn stalksThe residue remaining in a corn field after the grain has been harvested is an excellent feed resource for beef cow and backgrounding weaned calves. At least in Nebraska, the corn residue field may be a distance from where the cows reside.

As beef producers make plans to source corn stalks for grazing, especially if this is the first time, they should consider the items in the following checklist. (View the YouTube video of Rick Rasby discussing the checklist - opens in new window)

  1. Contact information:
    • Of owner of residue field
    • Of cattle owner
    • If there is a third party (not the owner of the residue or cattle) managing cattle at grazing site.
    • Veterinarian
  2. How will a fair price be determined and the payment schedule and method
  3. How stalks will be priced
    • By the acre
    • By the day
  4. Under what conditions will the rent agreement be terminated?
  5. Entry date and removal date.
  6. How will stocking rate be determined
  7. Who is responsible for:
    • Checking cattle
      - Frequency that cattle will be checked
    • Fencing
      - Who will build the fence?
      - Who will maintain the fence
    • How will water be provided
    • Who checks water and breaks ice
    • Who will refill salt and mineral feeder (assumed that cattle owner will provide S&M)
    • Who determines supplement needed, who provides it, who delivers.  How often?
  8. Who is liable when cattle get out?
    • People to contact to help gather cattle
  9. Will cattle be comingled with other cattle?
  10. How will treating sick cattle be handled?
  11. Emergency feed source
    • In case of heavy snow or blizzard and the producer/manager/operator cannot get trucks or feed to the cattle
      - Feed available at location or other site
          - Provided by crop owner
          - Provided by cattle owner
  12. Once cattle arrive at the corn residue grazing - Who...
    • Is responsible to line-up trucking to take cattle back to cattle owner location?
    • Is responsible to line-up trucking if cattle need to be transported to another corn field for grazing?

Rick Rasby
Beef Specialist - University of Nebraska