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Deere's HarvestLab improves silage analysis

Agriculture.com Staff Updated: 06/29/2012 @ 7:13am

Beef and dairy producers will have the ability to determine corn silage nutrient quality when using the John Deere HarvestLab starting in July of 2012, according to a report from John Deere.

In addition to dry matter content, which HarvestLab has traditionally been used to measure, the expanded Constituent Sensing capabilities will be able to predict crude protein, starch and fiber, which are important nutrient factors in livestock feed.

According to Steve Siegel, product manager for John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, HarvestLab uses Near Infrared Technology to determine the constituent characteristics of corn silage and has proven to be highly reliable under tough field conditions over the past 6 years. The device is used on John Deere Self Propelled Forage Harvesters (SPFH) to monitor corn silage at harvest and can be disconnected for use as a stationary unit to evaluate silage nutrient quality at the time of feeding.

“We partnered with DairyLand Labs, a recognized expert in forage analysis, to add these other nutrient analysis capabilities to John Deere HarvestLab,” Siegel says. “With real-time nutrient analysis, producers and nutritionists can more easily and quickly analyze feed rations for crude protein, fiber and other factors and make adjustments on a daily basis to improve nutrition and reduce feed variability.”

The HarvestLab Constituent Sensing enhancement also enables more precise application of silage inoculants at harvest because rates can be adjusted according to crop and dry matter readings. The result is higher quality silage with greater feed value and less spoilage.

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