DEKALB® Brand Corn Silage Evaluations

TRIAL OBJECTIVE

 

  • Bayer has always had a focus on breeding and selecting corn products that are focused for the silage acre. The expansive growth of dairies in Colorado has resulted in an increase in the demand for local corn silage data. 
  • In the past, generating local corn silage data has presented difficult logistical challenges from trying to harvest small plots with large commercial silage choppers, or data quality issues of having to hand cut 20 ft of row and processing the corn plants through a wood chipper.
  • Our local research team came up with a pilot program to test these silage focused corn products in our local region utilizing available resources in the area, to meet the needs of our local customers. 

 

RESEARCH SITE DETAILS

Location Yuma, CO    
Soil Type  Sandy loam   

Previous
Crop
Corn     
Tillage
Type
 
Strip tillage 


 
Planting Date 5/12/20    
Harvest Date 9/14/20  

Potential Yield
 (bu/acre)
25    
Seeding Rate
(seeds/acre)
34K

 

  • Six DEKALB® corn products were selected to test for yield (tonnage) and quality.
  • Each plot was 100 feet long by 4 rows wide, with weight and quality samples taken only on the center two rows.
  • A one-row pull behind silage chopper was used to harvest these trials. A material sample diverter was developed and attached to the chute which allowed for multiple samples to be taken throughout the trial to ensure proper mixing of material and present a more representative silage sample.
  • A set of weigh scales was installed onto a pull behind side dump wagon which allowed for measuring the forage tonnage.
  • Harvest began when products were approximately half milk line and approximately 65% whole plant moisture on average.
  • Silage samples were collected and sent to a third-party laboratory for quality analysis.

image Figure 1. Single row silage chopper.

UNDERSTANDING THE RESULTS

image Table 1. Yield and quality of corn products in silage demonstration.
image NDF-Neutral Detergent Fiber; NDFD-incremented measurement of NDF; uNDF-undigested NDF residue; IVSD 7 hr-in vitro starch remaining after 7hrs; ADF-Acid Detergent Fiber; CP-Crude Protein; TFA-Total Fat; TDN-Total Digestible Nutrients; NEL-Net Energy for Lactation; NEG-Net Energy for Gain.

  • In this trial, DKC69-16RIB brand blend was the highest yielding corn product in tonnage per acre and milk per ton (25tons/acre, 3516milk/ton).
  • DKC 59-07RIB brand blend had the lowest percentage of 240hr Non-Digestible fiber, which is what the animal is not able to break down for energy before it is passed through the animal as waste.
  • DKC64-44RIB had the highest percentage of 48hr digestible fiber in this trial, which is the percentage of fiber that can be quickly broken down and utilized by the animal.

KEY LEARNINGS

  • After successfully completing a silage testing pilot program this year, it will be expanded in 2021 by adding an additional testing location and more corn products.
  • With an 11-day spread in relative maturity (RM) between corn products, the percent moisture and dry matter varied widely indicating the need for separate harvest timings for RM groups.
  • Growers should consult with their local DEKALB® seed dealers for recommendations for placement of corn silage products for their area.
 
1032_R1_20

 

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