Ever wonder how grass fed operations remain 100% grass fed through winter months? There's storage hay of course but that can't really provide the same nutrition as holistic rotational grazing does during spring, summer and fall. The truth is, it takes some creative crop management and the method we're utilizing is still relatively "green" in the gassfed industry. See what we did there?
A few years ago, while on our constant quest to run our farm as holistically as possible and conveniently provide our customers with an outstanding product year round, we found a specialty corn developed just for the grass fed industry.
You see, corn is actually a grass. Right now you might be wondering, "then what's the big deal with grass fed cows following a strict no-corn diet?!"
The crop itself is not the issue necessarily but the grain, or seed, that the crop produces is what far too many big ag operations are mass producing, harvesting and over-feeding to their cattle. The high carbohydrate content within that grain, particularly in starch format, is what allows big ag operations to fatten cattle at an unnatural rate, so they can turnover product quicker. This has a horrible effect on the animal, the consumer, and our environment.
The corn crop that we're harvesting for our winter feedings has absolutely no grain on it. It is a non-GMO variety that is grown specifically for the grass fed industry. Once harvested, we mix the grass crop with our protein rich alfalfa-grass hay, and add a special inoculate of probiotics (think kimchi for cows), which boosts their immune and rumen health. The full package is a perfect balance of protein, probiotics, and carbohydrates, which is especially vital during the winter months. As we said, it involves some creativity and a lot of work (see below - we put up 400 tons in 4 hours and we have more photos and videos on our Facebook to prove it) but it keeps our cattle happier and healthier than if we just continued feeding them storage hay and natural supplements all winter long.