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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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Managers and owners often have the tough decision of weighing what expenses must be reduced while still increasing profit and, above all, how to be most efficient. The initial impulse may be to cut some costs temporarily, but this may lead to long-term consequences, especially in terms of milk peak, persistence and total yield.

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The ability to harvest moist forage as haylage gives forage producers in the humid regions of the U.S. many advantages, including timely harvest, higher nutritive quality and less weathering loss compared to hay systems.

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Aerobically unstable corn silage is a common challenge for dairy and beef operations throughout the U.S. Mold and yeast are field-borne organisms that are transferred to the storage facility during the harvesting process.

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Forage inoculants are effective additives to promote a quick drop in pH during fermentation of forages. These additives are viable bacteria that carry out fast and efficient fermentation, which can help maintain the nutritive quality of the fermented forage and reduce dry matter losses.

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A drive through the countryside where livestock are fed and cared for will reveal large, white, stuffed, plastic bags lying adjacent to farm buildings. These flexible feed structures store tons of haylage or corn silage.

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“I highly recommend inoculants for everyone. It won’t increase the nutrient content of your silage, but your silage will maintain quality rather than losing it,” says Hugo Ramirez of Iowa State University Extension.

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