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Silage

Plan your silage production from seed selection to harvest and packing the pile with tips from these ag professionals.

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Silage makes an excellent feed for ruminant animals. However, feeding silage is much different than feeding hay. Silage, because it is much wetter than hay, is much more susceptible to deterioration.

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Many livestock and dairy producers harvest high-moisture corn (HMC) to eliminate high grain drying costs and produce excellent feed for ruminant animals. HMC is harvested using a combine shortly after black-layer formation and then ground to reduce the size of the kernel particles and fermented in a silo or silage bag.

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Efficiency and personalization – these goals often seem opposed in dairy herd management.

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Proper moisture content may be the most important aspect to making good silage. Silage harvested too wet and immature reduces yield per acre. It can result in nutrient losses and environmental damage from seepage, and it often produces an inefficient, sour clostridial fermentation that reduces intake by livestock as well as experiences extra dry matter losses.

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It’s that time of year again: time to start thinking about corn silage harvest. Hopefully, you were able to scout your fields during tasseling time to get an idea of the progression toward maturity. Now you might be asking yourself what adjustments should be made to harvest moisture as you plan your timing.

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Each year, hay producers are faced with a dilemma that puts the practice of harvesting quality forage in jeopardy.

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