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Short corn a concern for silage growers

A Midwest crop consultant says the lack of early-season moisture a lot of heat has many farmers concerned about corn for silage. 

Daniel Olson with Forage Innovations tells Brownfield corn looks great in some areas, but not in others as the rain events have been scattered. “It’s very spotty in the areas that are drought-stressed and you know, you can get five or ten miles away and they were fortunate to get underneath one and they’re okay.”

Olson says corn silage is usually 40-50% grain, so the big variable that will determine corn silage volume is if the plants set ears.  He says if yes, the best-case scenario is high-starch corn but, “If we don’t get rain here in the next few weeks here when pollination is happening, then yields are going to really crash.”

Olson says if farmers are concerned about corn silage volumes, some small grain and vegetable acres are opening to plant more forage. “There’s an opportunity to either go with a warm-season annual like a BMR sorghum Sudan or a millet, or as we go into August, switching over to cool-season forages like forage oats and annual ryegrass.”

Olson says his farm clients that are now planting for additional forage are sticking with warm-season annuals.

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