Key in forage crops and storage

A dairy nutritionist says dry weather in Wisconsin could lead to feed inventory issues later this year.

Stu Rymph with Purina tells Brownfield first cutting of haylage had great quality but weeks without meaning rain is concerning.

“I think we gave up some yield by going quite that early, but we got some really awesome quality, so that was looking really good,” he shares.  “The problem is now with no rain, things are just sitting there getting crispy and the corn that is up, that heat is now driving that towards maturity faster and that could potentially affect fiber digestibility even in the corn silage.”

He says farmers can consider feeding more byproducts and alternative crops if faced with shortages.

“We’re looking at the sorghums and sudans, probably this fall we’ll be looking at some fall oats and stuff if we have rain following some of the wheat crops,” he says.  “There’s still opportunity for a new crop to come in. I think if you got to have something now, you’re going to have to start looking where there is rain.”

Rymph adds chop length, proper packing, and inoculants can help reduce feed waste to get the most out of harvested crops.

The U.S. Drought Monitor says more than 90 percent of Wisconsin is currently in some form of drought.

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