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November 2004 Silage Tips - Sponsored by Mycogen Seeds

With a little planning, you can avoid the frustrating "fall slump" that often accompanies a switch to new-crop silage, says Karl Nestor, senior animal nutritionist at Mycogen Seeds.

To accomplish this, you'll need a small storage structure - like a silage bag or two - to store a two-month supply of old-crop silage that can be fed while your main structures are being filled with new-crop silage.

"This allows you to feed a stable silage while the new crop of corn silage is fermenting and stabilizing," he says.

With a little planning, you can avoid the frustrating "fall slump" that often accompanies a switch to new-crop silage, says Karl Nestor, senior animal nutritionist at Mycogen Seeds.

If you buy corn silage on a contrac basis, don't forget to pencil in the cost of shrink during negotiations, says Bill Weiss, dairy nutritionist at Ohio State University. For example, the cost of new-crop corn silage runs $18 per ton. Add to that a harvest cost of $5 per ton and a $3-per-ton storage cost. Together, this amounts to a cost of $26 per ton. If you pencil in shrink at 5 percent, then the cost of that silage increases to $27.30 per ton, Weiss says. That means you will need to buy more freshly chopped corn than you thought.

Here are some strategies for dealing with unfermented corn silage if you don't have a steady supply of stable corn silage available:

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