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Silage

All Silage Content

stack of coins with faded chart lines showing in the foreground

SDSU Extension Silage/Earlage Calculator

The Silage/Earlage Calculator is designed to help corn and livestock producers answer questions regarding the value of standing fields of corn either as grain, silage and earlage.

Harvested cornfield in winter.

Crops

During the growing season, SDSU Extension provides weekly production recommendations.

A flock of white sheep grazing in a small pasture.

Using Corn Silage in Sheep Diet Formulations

Many Midwest producers have limited options for their primary forage source this year and, must utilize ear-less corn stalks as silage for their in livestock feeding systems. Despite the lack of ears on stalks in some areas the resultant corn stover silage is still expected to contain 80% of expected level of energy under normal growing conditions.

Several wrapped bales of hay lined up near a barn.

Importance of Proper Forage Sampling

As dairymen and livestock caretakers, we are trying to optimize the performance of our livestock, whether it is producing milk or meat. Without knowing the quality of the feedstuff or forage we are feeding, it becomes difficult to balance a ration to ensure the animal is receiving the proper amounts of needed nutrients.

tractor near pile of harvested silage

Silage Moisture Testing Tips

Two key points to keep in mind when making high-quality silage are moisture content before harvest and nutrient content before feeding.

A large pile of silage on a farm lot.

High-Quality Silage Making & Safe Practices: Both are necessities

Throughout the forage growing season many producers are putting up silage piles. To this point they have been predominately forages such as haylage or small grain silage; however, we will soon be moving into corn silage cutting season.

Three, four-wheel drive John Deere tractors, pushing up chopped corn silage into a drive over pile on a dairy farm.

Harvesting Silage on a Wet Year: Moisture is Critical

Fall is on its way in South Dakota. However, with many flooded and saturated fields, some producers are growing concerned that there will be little opportunity to harvest silage before corn dries down past desired moisture levels or frost occurs.

silage truck dispensing feed to dairy cattle at feed bunk

Mycotoxin Considerations for Weather-Damaged Feedstuffs

Whether your crops have been hit with drought or hail the odds are that we are going to see an increase potential for feed contaminants such nitrates or molds which cause mycotoxins.

Three John Deere Tractors moving silage and packing the corn silage to make a drive over silage pile.

Be Safe and Smart Around Silage

Corn silage making season will soon be upon us. It is important to take the time to communicate with employees proper protocols while making silage, along with safe practices around silage piles or silos.

Drought-stressed cornfield.

Valuing Drought-Stressed Corn Silage

Salvaging a failed crop as silage to feed to livestock can be a “win-win” for both the crop grower and livestock owner. Relying on actual data rather than assumptions improves the odds of finding a value that is fair to both parties.