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July 17, 2012
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Drought resources for forage producers

Weather is definitely a topic of discussion and concern for forage producers this year. Click the article headlines below for some thoughts and advice from experts around the country.

Wisconsin: Corn management decisions during drought depend upon pollination success

Wisconsin: Getting the most from drought-stressed forages

Michigan: Drought pasture management: During and after

Pennsylvania: Minimize drought damage by making decisions early

Pennsylvania: Managing alfalfa during and following a drought

Illinois: Drought-stressed corn concerns

Indiana: Silage could salvage value for drought-damaged crop

Missouri: Corn producers consider turning drought-damaged crop into silage

Ohio: Alfalfa can weather drought, but growers may find lower production

If you know of other on-line resources for drought-related issues, please post them on our Progressive Forage Grower Facebook page (and "like" us while you're there)

Estimating corn silage harvest

Written by Robin Newell

As corn silage growers near their anticipated harvest date, it’s important to walk fields to determine how the crop is progressing.

Ultimately, harvest timing can be critical in achieving high-quality corn silage that delivers optimal performance for livestock.

Harvest timing depends heavily on the crop’s moisture and maturity. Accurately determining whole plant moisture is important because ensiling corn at the proper maturity stage and dry matter content can provide high-energy, high-quality silage resulting in positive animal performance and lower feed costs.


Silage savvy: Dairies share silage management know-how

Corn silage is king when it comes to dairy cattle rations. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the U.S. produced more than 108 million tons of corn silage in 2011.

Unfortunately, a large portion of this silage is lost to shrink year after year.

Industry estimates suggest about 20 percent of the corn silage ensiled each year is lost.


Inoculants: Insurance or strategy

Written by Lawrence R. Jones

There is little debate that well-fermented forages conserve dry matter, provide the opportunity for higher-forage diets and reduce purchased feed costs.

The main reason to inoculate forages is to provide insurance that forages will ferment properly.

Recently, I have calculated that with a corn price of $6.50 per bushel, an incremental 5 percent loss during fermentation equates to a cost in excess of $13 per ton of forage.