Harvest Strategies for Silage
An important part of corn silage production is proper and timely harvest management. Whether you have planted silage exclusive or dual-purpose hybrids, AgVenture’s Total Forage System (TFS) provides you with high performance corn silage products to enhance the overall profitability of your progressive dairy or beef operation.
Follow these guidelines to help maximize efficiency and profits from using our high-quality corn silages:
Plan for harvest: Time your harvest based on the moisture percentage that ensures the desired fermentation pattern in your type of storage. This helps maximize performance based on specific silage hybrids and will produce better results than following the general rule of thumb about harvecsting when kernels are at one-third to one-half milkline. Talk to your AgVenture Yield Specialist (AYS) about harvest plans for your TFS crops.
Calculate moisture levels: This can be done using a Koster tester, which uses forced air, or with a microwave oven. Both methods allow for easy, accurate readings.
Determine chop length: Silage harvesting equipment should be set to attain the desired chop length, or theoretical length of cut (TLC). Particle size at harvest will be affected by knife sharpness, harvest speed, shear bar setting and crop moisture. Drier materials need to be cut shorter to ease packing. Ask your AYS for TLC recommendations.
Adjust kernel processing: Ensure your processing doesn’t just crack the kernel but annihilates it. This improves the overall starch utilization of your silage.
Pack silage: Proper packing provides the anaerobic environment necessary for effective fermentation to occur. More densely-packed forage will have reduced dry matter loss and higher feeding quality. Wait 45-60 days before feeding for optimal fermentation.
Talk to your AYS about the specific recommendations and plans for your operation.