August 2019 Wet Forage Harvest

Harvest is approaching. For many it will be very different from the past. A number of farms are growing sorghum or sorghum species for the first time. Its harvest timing is very different than corn silage if you want to get it right. In addition, there was a lot of corn silage planted in June and July. This corn could be very immature when it is harvested.   Compounding that problem, multiple weather reports are saying that as this is a solar minimum year, cool to cold temperatures will return with a vengeance and the possibility of an early frost or freeze is above average. With the immature/late planted corn, this is not what we need. Immature corn silage is a lot like sorghum or sorghum-Sudan. It will be a wet, higher sugar, low starch forage. Chopping this with a short length of cut, and worse – processing, will produce forage the consistency of applesauce or soup. This is not beneficial to good fermentation, high milk components, or preserving nutrients (lost leachate is 100% digestible). The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize these potential problems.

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