Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with total production surpassing that of wheat or rice. However, not all of this maize is consumed directly by humans. Some of the maize production is used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn syrup. The six major types of corn are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn.
Different cattle feeding production systems have separate advantages and disadvantages. Most cattle in the US have a diet that is composed of at least some forage (grass, legumes, or silage). In fact, most beef cattle are raised on pasture from birth in the spring until autumn (7 to 9 months).
Then for pasture-fed animals, grass is the forage that composes all or at least the great majority of their diet. Cattle fattened in feedlots are fed small amounts of hay supplemented with grain, soy and other ingredients in order to increase the energy density of the diet. The debate is whether cattle should be raised on diets primarily composed of pasture (grass) or a concentrated diet of grain, soy, corn and other supplements.
Animals grazing in rangelands, pastures, and grasslands and with little or no integration of crops involved. About 60% of the world's pasture land is covered by grazing systems. Grazing systems supply approximately 9 percent of the world's production of beef, according to Food and Agriculture Organization statistics.
Cattle called "corn-fed", "grain-fed", or "corn-finished" are typically fattened on maize, soy, and other types of feed for several months before slaughter. As a high-starch, high-energy food, corn decreases the time to fatten cattle and increases carcass yield. Some corn-fed cattle are fattened in concentrated animal feeding operations known as feed lots.