Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Agric. Environ. Lett. 2:160043 (2017) doi:10.2134/ael2016.10.0043.


This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CCY-NC-ND license.


Corn (Zea mays L.) residue grazing or harvest provides a simple and economical practice to integrate crops and livestock, but limited information is available on how widespread corn residue utilization is practiced by US producers. In 2010, the USDA Economic Research Service 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 was 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 to 73 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 US livestock, particularly in the western Corn Belt.