Krull identified several key drivers of corn silage yield and quality, including management, environment and genetics. Poor management will not compensate for poor genetics or adverse weather conditions and vice versa.
With input costs and cattle value both at high levels, it might be worthwhile to consider some alternatives. Both energy and protein are more valuable than previously, and higher cattle prices indicate the greater value of higher calving percentage and more rapid weight gain.
The last couple of years have led to uncertainty in commodity market pricing, and this year has been no different, with commodity prices skyrocketing. This has been especially true for byproduct protein sources, such as soybean and canola meal.
I help grow, harvest and feed hay and other forages on our family farm, which is downwind from a small town. If I had a dollar for every plastic grocery bag, beer can, dog food bag, trampoline, shed roof, golf ball and mylar balloon I picked out of a hayfield or bale, it would put me in a higher tax bracket.
Minimizing soil content of forages should be the goal of every forage producer and dairy farm. This is because soil contamination of forages can add to the total ash or mineral content, which dilutes the energy and nutritive value of forages.