Corn Product Silage Quality and Tonnage

TRIAL OBJECTIVE

  • Corn silage is an important feedstock for cattle producers across the Great Plains.  

  • Desirable corn products should produce high tonnage with favorable silage quality characteristics. 

  • In this study, the objective was to provide insights to farmers on which of the 22 corn products evaluated have high tonnage and good silage quality characteristics.

     

RESEARCH SITE DETAILS

Location Gothenburg, NE Planting Date 5/23/18
Soil Type Hord silt loam Harvest Date 10/1/18
Previous Crop Grain sorghum Potential Yield (bu/acre) 250
Tillage Type Strip tillage Seeding Rate (seeds/acre) 36K
  • The study was set up as a randomized complete block with three replications. 

  • Twenty-two corn products were evaluated. 

  • Corn was sprinkler irrigated and weeds were controlled as needed. No fungicide or insecticide was applied. 

  • Silage quality was sampled for each corn product at ½ milk line. Sampling dates varied by relative maturity, but all sampling occurred in the last two weeks of September.  

  • Corn products were hand-harvested about 4 inches above the soil surface to provide a representative sample and were then chopped with a silage chopper. 

  • A subsample of the freshly-chopped material was collected and sent to Dairyland Laboratories Inc. for silage quality analysis. 

  • Total biomass was collected, weighed, and tonnage was determined for each corn product.

UNDERSTANDING THE RESULTS

  • Corn products did vary in silage quality and tonnage as there were significant differences in all parameters tested as reported in Table 1. 

Figure 1. Short- and long-season corn products at harvest.

98RM corn product at silage harvest.
120RM-A corn product at silage harvest.

KEY LEARNINGS

  • Producers should work with their local seed sales team to identify how their branded corn products performed in this study. 

 

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