First, to explain a little bit about corn silage I am pulling this blog from over at South Dakota Corn’s blog. They did a great job of explaining the purpose for corn silage. And plus, they are a great resource for more information about corn.
Alright, I promised a video blog on corn silage.
It isn’t the prettiest- but it’s my first and I am a bit proud of it.
I also set it to some very generic music that came with my Flip camera program- sorry about that. I originally had my voice, but I realized after I brought it back to the computer for editing that the cold I had last week makes me almost impossible to understand!
Late August and early September, or when the corn fields start turning from green to gold usually marks the start for corn silage season in South Dakota. Chopping corn for silage is a very popular practice, especially among cattle feeders as silage contains high energy nutrients and is easily digestible.
Corn silage is ideally harvested when the corn ears are well-dented and the plant begins to turn brown and dry. Late cut silage that includes brown and dead leaves will produce a quality feed, but will yield as much as 30% less.
As the corn is chopped, the plant is still alive as it continues to breathe producing carbon dioxide and heat. When the plant cells stop breathing, the plant begins to ferment and will continue for around three weeks while the silage preserves. The less air reaching the corn silage the better, as it’s important to properly cover the pile or fill the silo with temperatures between 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Properly packed and heated silage will have a light-green to yellow color with a vinegar type odor.
As of September 11, corn silage harvest in South Dakota was 41% complete. That’s 13% behind last year and 1% ahead of the five year average.
South Dakota Corn actually came out and took some great photos here at TKF last week while we were chopping silage and also a great video of my husband talking about corn silage. Lucky them! I asked him to answer some questions about corn silage for my video and he gave me “The Look”.
Anyway, this is corn silage 2011 on our farm. Any questions please feel free to ask! If I don’t know the answer, I will get one for you!