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Silage Tips

Recently, researchers at Cornell University tested the variation within 20 bunker silos at commercial dairies in New York state. Samples were taken at the face of the silo - at "upper," "middle," and "lower"points.

Researchers found variations in crude protein, dry matter and neutral detergent fiber. For instance, crude protein varied within the corn silage bunkers by 11 percent. In other words, there was an 11-percent difference, on average, between the region of the silo with the highest reading and the region with the lowest reading.

The table below shows a quick summary:

Recently, researchers at Cornell University tested the variation within 20 bunker silos at commercial dairies in New York state. Samples were taken at the face of the silo - at "upper," "middle," and "lower"points.

Research from the W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, N.Y., shows that cutting both a silage-only hybrid and a dual-purpose hybrid at 18 inches instead of 6 inches would increase milk yield per ton just 3 percent, as predicted using the MILK2000 program. Increasing cutting height decreased neutral detergent fiber percentage, but did not improve NDF digestibility.

Last year, the research team, led by Larry Berger, professor of animal science, filled four mini-bunkers with the same amount - 8,000 pounds - of corn silage. They covered one bunker with black plastic and sprayed the other three with an edible covering made of salt, ground wheat and tap water. They sealed the edible cover with one of three wax coatings: a spray-on wax emulsion, parafin wax, or foodgrade wax paper like that used to wrap meat. Four months later, the researchers opened the bunkers.

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