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.
All Silage Content
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.
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.
During the 2002 drought there was a need to stretch corn silage supplies as a result of the drought that affected the U.S. Now we deal with the opposite scenario, where excessive spring rains have not allowed farmers to get to the fields. In both situations livestock producers face challenges.
With the challenges of getting crops planted this year many farmers are likely weighing their options and re-considering their planting intentions. For producers that can market feedstuffs through livestock (particularly cattle), it may be premature to completely abandon corn simply due to calendar dates.
Corn distillers dried grains (DDGS) are valued by ruminant nutritionists because of their high nutrient concentration.
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.
Corn is suited to preservation as silage. Silage additives can be used to remedy deficiencies such as lack of sufficient population of bacteria to support adequate fermentation, and low levels of fermentable carbohydrates.
Cover crops have been gaining a reemerging acceptance over the last decade, with very few producers disagreeing about the potential soil health benefits of adding cover crops to their farming operation.