Video: Evaluating corn silage processing in the field

Posted on August 19, 2014 in Dairy Performance
By Jon Rasmussen
Trying to get a handle on corn silage processing while the choppers are moving has gained a great deal of interest in the recent years. A few considerations can help make the evaluation a little less subjective.

Start by gathering a fresh corn silage sample in a 32-ounce container (a large soda cup works well). Note: A consistent sample size is extremely important.

After gathering the sample, decide how to separate and count the number of whole kernels. The video below shows the use of a Penn State shaker box to not only separate the kernels, but also get a measure of particle size.

Other methods may be to simply sort out the kernels or float them in water.

No matter your preference, the following results will indicate your potential corn silage processing:

  • 0-2 kernels found:  Sample is likely well processed
  • 3-6 kernels found:  Sample may be adequately processed
  • 6 or more kernels found:  Re-evaluate the processing at the chopper

Enjoy the video and good luck processing your corn silage.  Best wishes for a good and safe harvest!

About the author:  Jon Rasmussen is a dairy technology specialist on the Vita Plus team.  He grew up on a small dairy farm in northeast Wisconsin.  Rasmussen attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a bachelor’s degree in dairy science.  For the past six years, he’s specialized in records analysis for the Vita Plus dairy team.  He works with dairy producers and consultants to help them evaluate data for improved dairy business management.

Category: Dairy Performance
Forage harvesting