As we reflect on the 2018 growing season it was very clear to see a common theme emerge as in years past: uncertainty.  To combat this uncertainty, we need to grow healthy, productive crops that can withstand variable moisture conditions, insect invasions, and disease pressure.  Ongoing improvements in corn hybrids continue to show impressive capabilities whether harvested for grain or silage.  Understanding the impact of soil fertility, plant health, and hybrid selection on forage quality will continue to drive us to use resources that promote high quality forage production.

Since corn silage has gained popularity in dairy rations due to its more predictable quality in comparison to alfalfa silage, the importance of achieving optimum quality has never been more critical.  Further advances in corn hybrid technology has helped producers reduce risk against environmental factors.  The big question is:  what corn silage hybrid is the best fit for your operation? 

Selecting corn silage hybrids must meet the agronomic requirements and align with the ration goals of a dairy.  Soil types, fertility, maturity length, plant health, and harvest method are key factors to achieve the highest quality corn silage.  High quality corn silage is required to maximize production potential.   

The Ag Partners Forage Club is a critical asset to a producer’s team that connects agronomic practices to high quality forage in the dairy ration.  The Forage Club is our agronomy and dairy nutrition team working together to provide the resources needed for producers to maximize forage quality and production.  This team takes two critical components; agronomic principals and forage quality parameters to produce the most high-quality forage possible.  In addition to the Forage Club as a resource, Vita Plus has compiled University test plot data for corn silage hybrids into a user-friendly spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet allows the user to easily evaluate and rank hybrids based on several different quality and quantity parameters.  The expertise within the Forage Club Team and data compiled in the corn silage hybrid spreadsheet gives the producer a clear path in selecting the right corn silage hybrid for the next growing season.

With seed buying decisions fast approaching, talk to an Ag Partners agronomist or dairy nutritionist to learn how the Forage Club can help your dairy select the best corn silage hybrid.  Together, we can reduce uncertainty of the 2019 growing season.

Joshua Sazama

by Joshua Sazama