Producers looking for a new feed source should consider corn for their silage
Silage corn has increased in popularity and acres across the Prairies in recent years. Many producers like that the feed source offers high nutrition and tonnage.
“Silage corn is very high in starch and starch is your energy. Whether it's for a lactating dairy cow or a beef cow in a feedlot situation, energy is what we're looking for. Energy creates gallons of milk and it creates pounds of beef,” said Meghan Desjardins.
Desjardins is Bayer CropScience’s market development agronomist for southern Alberta.
In the last few years, companies like Bayer developed corn hybrids better suited for the growing season on the Prairies, said Desjardins.
“Even in areas where corn was just not a possibility five years ago, I would encourage those growers to grab a new seed guide and see how short season our hybrids do go. At Bayer, we've put in a huge investment into early season corn and we're continually improving our performance on earlier and earlier hybrids,” she told Farms.com.
If a producer is interested in trying out silage corn, they should be aware of the importance of proper startup investment for corn, said Desjardins.
“Corn is not a good competitor. It doesn't compete well with weeds, it doesn't compete well with each other,” she said.
It is recommended that producers invest in a corn planter or rent one to get the corn on the right track.
“Starting off with a planter and having singulation, which means perfectly spaced plants, so you have proper row spacing in between the rows as well as within the row, is the key to a good successful start in corn,” said Desjardins.
While the seed cost for corn may surprise some first-time growers and while they should invest in some new equipment, silage corn is still a strong option for producers on the Prairies, said Desjardins.
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