Ask the Quality Silage Experts: Ensiling Corn Under Cold Temperatures

(Sponsored Content)

Q. I didn’t get my corn silage put up until after it snowed. What should I expect from the silage at feedout?

A. A quick snow or frost, where the plant remains alive (green coloration above the ear, instead of brown), shouldn’t hurt the plant development and resulting silage quality. However, the plant loses moisture quickly if it was killed, and this potentially can result in difficultly packing. 

Frost can damage the plant and leave it susceptible to fungal infestation, which can lead to mycotoxin production. Freezing also lowers the natural population of lactic acid bacteria on the plants. Adding a research-proven forage inoculant helps ensure a good ensiling fermentation. 

Corn ensiled at low ambient temperatures may not ferment well — and may not ferment at all — if  it was ensiled frozen. Check the silage pH, since a partial fermentation may have started, even if silage looks green. 

As spring approaches and temperatures rise, the outer layers of silage will likely ferment (while the core remains frozen longer), leading to inconsistent nutrient levels and possibly aerobic instability due to low production of organic acids.

Sending representative samples to a credible forage testing laboratory for nutrient and fermentative profiles is a good investment, especially if the corn plants in the silage structure were compromised and came from different fields.

For more information about forage inoculants, visit www.qualitysilage.com.

 

Sponsored by Lallemand Animal Nutrition
 

 

Latest News

Gearhart Ranch
NCBA Delivers State of the Industry Address

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association spokesmen gave an update on the state of the industry and priority issues in Washington, D.C. that may affect cattlemen during the group’s virtual Winter Reboot conference.

Pilgrim’s Pride Agrees To Price-Fixing Fine

Pilgrim's Pride, the nation's second-largest poultry processor, entered a guilty plea to federal charges of price-fixing and bid-rigging, the Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

Setting Expectations Smooths the Path for Succession Planning with Off-Farm Heirs

At this year’s Top Producer Online Summit, Rena Striegel shared her key tips to make this transition easier for all involved.

Timing Matters: It pays to get more cows bred in the first 21 days

Dr. Todd Bilby, associate director of ruminant technical services for Merck Animal Health, will share how to get more cows bred in the first 21 days, why it matters and how to improve those numbers.

Piedra Valley Ranch
Jerry Bohn: Beef Is, and Always Will Be Sustainable

Beef's contribution to climate change is often an outrageous lie that’s being used to sell consumers a fake meat product they don’t want or need and one that won’t do anything to solve climate problems.

.
Profit Tracker: Cattle Steady, Hog Margins Solid

Cattle feeding margins were little changed from the previous week with modest profits. Hog feeding margins were boosted for a third week with another advance in lean carcass prices.