Thursday, August 26, 2010

Corn Silage Time

This past Monday we met with some customers at the farm of Cees Haanstra and family to discuss corn silage and bunker silo management.  Whole plant moistures are rapidly approaching 65% which is the ideal moisture range to start filling bunker silos.

Pioneer has many resource people and one of the best is our Dairy Specialist, Robert Larmer.  Standing in front of Cees' corn silage bunker, he is demonstrating a probe used for measuring the density of bunker silos.  


Robert is a really smart guy because he made Brian do the work.

Robert then provided the following management suggestions and measurement parameters for putting up top quality corn silage in a bunker.
1. The target density for most efficient preservation of dry matter is 15 lbs/cu ft. of silage.
2. Spreading silage in 5" layers or less and 800 lbs of packing weight per ton of silage delivered per hour is necessary to achieve target density. 
3. Dual wheels are more effective than singles because the larger surface area and weight of the dual more than compensates for the reduced weight per sq in. of tire.
4. Internal temperature of the silage mass should be under 20 degrees C in the summer.

Here he is checking the kernel processing job done by Haanstra's Claas harvester.  In the plastic 500g cup beside his knee there should be no more than 1-2 whole kernels of corn.  Every other kernel must be broken or cracked to allow for rapid starch digestion. 
Theoretical length of cut should be set at 3/4" for effective fibre utilization the corn stover in the rumen. 
And, of course the use of Pioneer 11CFT corn silage inoculant completes the job.


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