2020 INTERNSPublished May 20, 2020
Welcome to 3 Interns Joining the Country Partners Cooperative Team
“Plan now for corn silage success – Part 1: Hybrid selection” discussed how hybrid selection leads to good success with corn silage, but crop nutrient management and corn silage harvest methods are two other important components. These topics have been extensively researched by universities and companies. The following is a brief summary of these points and links to good online sources for deeper reading.
Corn silage crop nutrition
As with all commercial crops, a good soil testing program is the backbone for development of a good crop nutrition program. Take time to collect a good, representative sample from sampling sites based on topography, soil type and past management, and submit to a reputable soil testing lab. Michigan State University Extension recommends no more than 20 acres be included in a single soil sample. Remember, you’re sending the lab a sample of approximately 1 pound of soil to represent 48 million pounds of soil (20 acres at an 8-inch depth).
Livestock manure is often used to fertilize corn silage. Be sure to take full advantage of nutrient credits from manure. Collecting a good representative manure sample and having it analyzed allows farmers to manage their manure resource more efficiently. If manure analysis information isn’t available, check the book values for nutrient content of different species in the Midwest Plan Service MWPS-18 “Manure Characteristics” publication.
Also, make sure those responsible for hauling and spreading keep accurate records of loads hauled on each field. Timely incorporation will have a major impact on retention of the nitrogen component in manure. Following the recommendations based on a quality soil test and using good fertilizer practices will maximize the growth and development of your corn silage crop.
“Corn fertilization,” University of Wisconsin Extension publication A3340, provides an interesting comparison of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) requirements between silage corn and grain corn at various soil P and K levels and yield goals. Manure Management and Air Quality, a webpage from the University of Minnesota Extension, provides a good overview of manure management.
There are several considerations when setting up for corn silage harvest. A few key points from the University of Wisconsin Extension’s Corn Agronomy – Silage Harvesting and Storage webpage follow.
These and many more important considerations can be reviewed on the University of Wisconsin Extension’s Corn Silage webpage.
Source: Michigan State University
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