As Grain Costs Rise, Corteva Agriscience Advises Cattle Producers Look to Their Pastures

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Taking Steps This Spring Can Boost Per-acre Beef Production

INDIANAPOLIS — Grain prices are projected to remain high this year. While this boon to crop producers is putting pressure on livestock feeders, the upswing presents an opportunity for savvy cattle grazers.

“Rising corn and soybean prices, along with drought-tightened hay inventories and market uncertainty, are giving cattle producers ample incentive to maximize pasture production this grazing season,” said Jeff Clark, Market Development Specialist at Corteva Agriscience. “Growing more, high-quality grazed forages presents an excellent cost-containment strategy. For 2021, it could pay off on the income side of the ledger, too.”

With market factors signaling continued support for grain prices, many ag economists point to opportunities to add pounds in the pasture this grazing season. For cattle feeders, buying heavier weaned calves and feeding less high-priced grain enhances profit potential. That likely means increased demand for heavier weaned calves and a chance for grazers to capitalize.

“Ensuring your grazing acres are at peak production is a good place to start,” Clark said. “Growing more grass and managing it well can help you ramp up per-acre beef production. Whether that’s through improved daily weight gains or by extending the grazing season, it’s hard to go wrong with lower-cost gains on pasture.”

Start Fast, Finish Strong

Season-long success in the pasture starts early and continues through the summer. It’s not a turn-’em-out-and-forget-it enterprise, Clark says. He offers several tips that can help maximize pasture productivity:

  • Evaluate last year’s successes and challenges and adjust grazing plans accordingly.
  • Scout early and often. Catch small problems, like thistle patches, before they become larger headaches.
  • Don’t forget soil fertility. Fertilizing according to soil test and experience can increase forage quality.
  • Control broadleaf weeds early to increase grass production and utilization.
  • Go gentle on drought-stressed areas. Overgrazing through over stocking and grazing length will prolong drought recovery.

“Annual and biennial broadleaf weeds can green up even before pasture grasses. Once growing, weeds steal moisture, nutrients and sunlight,” Clark said. “Catching weeds early gives pasture grasses a competitive advantage.”

Early in the season means when weeds are small and growing. They’re easier to cover and control, and they haven’t robbed much from the grass yet. If weather or spring workloads conspire against early spraying, treatments — and their forage-boosting benefits — can continue into summer. Just remember to adjust herbicide rates accordingly, Clark said.

Using a residual product, such as DuraCor® herbicide, early in the season stops that first weed flush while providing control of those that germinate later. This extended control will help stop weeds throughout the season, preserving moisture and allowing grasses to get a head start on the weeds.

“Remember: Every day grazed is money in your pocket,” Clark said. “That rings especially true this grazing season.”

Maximizing and properly manage grazed forages can help producers put on more, lower-cost gains.

For more pasture-maximizing tips, follow Range & Pasture at Corteva Agriscience at RangeAndPasture.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About Corteva Agriscience Range & Pasture

Drawing on more than 70 years of Range & Pasture improvement products and service as The Dow Chemical Company, DowElanco and, most recently, Dow AgroSciences, Corteva Agriscience is the industry-leading provider of weed and brush management solutions for grazing lands. Producers can rely on Corteva for best-in-class herbicides, including DuraCor®, PastureGard® HL, Remedy® Ultra, MezaVue® and many more, along with technology-based solutions such as LandVisor advanced brush management. With a specialized team dedicated to Range & Pasture management, Corteva offers producers the expertise they need, leading products, a robust new product development pipeline and superb custom services.


About Corteva Agriscience

Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.


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™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. MezaVue® is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Under normal field conditions, DuraCor® is nonvolatile. DuraCor has no grazing or haying restrictions for any class of livestock, including lactating dairy cows, horses (including lactating mares) and meat animals prior to slaughter. Label precautions apply to forage treated with DuraCor and to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. DuraCor and MezaVue are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. State restrictions on the sale and use of Remedy® Ultra apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions. © 2021 Corteva.


Kacey Birchmier

Corteva Agriscience
515-305-0085 cell



Karli Pryor

Bader Rutter

707-290-3288 cell