Citation
Harvesting, storing, and feeding silage to dairy cattle

Material Information

Title:
Harvesting, storing, and feeding silage to dairy cattle
Series Title:
Florida Cooperative Extension Service circular 565
Creator:
Harris, Barney
Affiliation:
Florida Cooperative Extension Servi -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
9 p. : ill ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Agriculture ( LCSH )
Farm life ( LCSH )
Farming ( LCSH )
University of Florida. ( LCSH )
Silage -- Handling ( LCSH )
Dairy cattle -- Feeding and feeds ( LCSH )
Agriculture -- Florida ( LCSH )
Farm life -- Florida ( LCSH )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida

Notes

Funding:
Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life

Record Information

Source Institution:
Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location:
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier:
10705372 ( OCLC )
ACE7400 ( NOTIS )
027892650 ( ALEPH )

Full Text


Circular 565


HARVESTING, STORMGNAD FEEDING
SILAGE TO DAIRY CATTLE

Barney Harris, Jr.


Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences / University of Florida / John T. Woeste, Dean









HARVESTING, STORING, and FEEDING SILAGE to DAIRY CATTLE


Barney Harris, Jr.


Introduction

Silage may be defined as a moist forage stored in the ab-
sence of air and preserved by fermentation. Fermentation
is carried out by bacteria acting on plant sugars, starches,
and cellulose (carbohydrates) in the chopped forage. The
bacteria feed on the carbohydrates in the forage and rapidly
produce lactic and acetic acids. When the production of
these acids reach a certain level, they prevent further bac-
terial action, resulting in the preserved feed we call silage.
The production of excellent silage requires that forage be
stored in the absence of air. If an airtight silo is not avail-
able, good packing is needed. For best results, the green
forage should contain a Dry Matter (DM) content of
30-40%.


IDEAL
63-70%
Moisture
DM loss 5-15%


TOO DRY
50-60%
Moisture
DM loss 20-30%
(excess mold and rot)


TOO WET
80-85%
Moisture

DM loss 20-40%
(strong odor)


Preserving forage crops of high moisture content may
present problems. When such materials are exposed to the
air, microbial activity involving yeasts, fungi, and bacteria
takes place and causes high gaseous losses of dry matter.
Over extended periods, the product becomes less palata-
ble, frequently inedible, and may become toxic. Aerobic


deterioration of this sort may be minimized by rapid
achievement and subsequent maintenance of these anaer-
obic conditions in storage. Even under anaerobic condi-
tions, forages containing more than 74% moisture are subject
to clostridia fermentation. These organisms break down
sugars to butyrate and the protein fraction of the forage may
be extensively degraded. As a result, the product becomes
less palatable and of a poorer quality. Over 20% of the en-
ergy contained in the initial fermented carbohydrate can be
lost during production of butyric acid.
Table 1 shows the weight of settled silage per cubic foot
in a full silo. Corn or grass silage, well packed in a trench
or bunker silo, will weigh an average of 35 to 40 pounds per
cubic foot.
Table 1. Weight of settled silage per cubic foot when the silo
is full

Depth of Settled Average Weight Per
Silage (Feet) Cubic Foot (Ibs.)
7 34.7
8 36.0
9 37.1
10 38.1
12 39.8
14 41.2
16 42.4
18 43.5
20 44.3
22 45.1
24 45.8
26 46.4
30 47.4
34 48.3
38 49.1
42 49.9
46 50.5
50 51.0


The Harvesting Process
The quality of forage harvested is frequently inferior to
that which was potentially available for harvesting, due to
rainy conditions, mechanical difficulties, labor problems,
or perhaps harvesting earlier than desirable. Likewise, the


*Professor and Extension Dairy Nutritionist, Dairy Science Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
Gainesville, Florida 32611
1









quality of the silage fed may not reflect the quality of for-
ages ensiled, due to conditions associated with improper
fermentation such as poor packing.


Certain basic rules must be observed in order to harvest
and store top quality silage. Studies at Michigan State,
Kentucky, and Florida show that chopping at '/4 to 3/8 inch (as
compared to 5/8 to 3/4 inch cut) increases the DM stored per
cubic foot 6-17%. Fine chopping is encouraged to prevent
storage losses, less separation, ease of packing, and in-
creased digestibility. It is important that the chopper knives
and the shearbar corners be kept sharp and properly ad-
justed. Dull knives tend to beat rather than cut, resulting in
poor silage and increased fuel utilization.

Phases of Silage Fermentation

Silage fermentation is frequently divided into five phases.
Figure 1 shows these phases and outlines factors involved
in silage fermentation. While phases 1, 2, and 3 are not
clearly defined, phase 1 includes the final respiration of
plant cells and the production of heat and carbon dioxide.
Phase 1 is important since the stage is set for the production
of acetic acid and a lowering of the pH of the fermenting
forage. As the pH becomes lower, acetic-acid-producing
bacteria decrease rapidly. Thus, phase 2 develops into
phase 3 with the initiation of lactic acid formation. The first
few days also include the settling of the forage in the silo
with increases in rate of seepage, reaching its peak about
the 4th or 5th day.
The dry matter content of forages changes rapidly in


Florida during the harvesting process. If the harvesting pe-
riod is extended over periods of more than 10 days to 2
weeks, the forage may become too dry, thereby reducing
both the digestibility of the cellulose fraction of the forage
and causing more difficulty in packing. If high DM silages
(45% or more) are to be ensiled successfully, ensiling
should be under gas tight conditions. Studies have shown
that fermentation losses of high DM material in gas tight
silos is about 6-10% as compared to 25-40% for bunker
type silos. Stage of maturity is also important as shown in
Table 2.
The Effect of pH The success of the ensiling process
is closely associated with the pH of the fermented forage.
The formation of acetic and lactic acids as well as the pres-
ence of ammonia and amines have some bearing on pH. In
general, legume forages such as alfalfa and soybeans that
have high buffering capacities are more difficult to ensile
than corn and sorghum type forages. Such crops frequently
require additives such as acids or carbohydrates for good
fermentation to occur. A pH of 3.5 to 4.5 is needed for stor-
ing good silage.
Carbohydrate Content of Forage- The carbohydrate
content of forages varies considerably as shown in Table 3.
In general, forages having less than 8% soluble carbohy-
drates are fairly low and may require the inclusion of ad-
ditives to improve fermentation.
Table 3. The water soluble carbohydrate (WSCHO) content of
various forage crops
Stage of WSCHO
Crop Maturity (Dry Matter)
Alfalfa Early Bloom 4.26
Rye Grass Bloom 10.21
Soybeans Pods Formed 2.13
Corn Milk Stage 20.25
Oats Heading 9.93
Sudan Grass Milk Stage 13.41
Cowpea Early Bloom 6.55
Sorghum, Grain Milk Stage 18.50


Forages low in water soluble carbohydrates and/or high
in moisture may be enhanced by the addition of dry feed in
the form of ground grain, milling by-products, or even
chopped hay to increase the dry matter content.


Table 2. The influence of stage of maturity on corn yield'
49 Days
Silking 12 Days 25 Days Mature
Silage weight (Ibs. per acre) 16,000 25,000 34,000 40,000
Dry Matter (Ibs. per acre) 5,400 8,300 11,700 13,600
Stalks and leaves 93% 72% 53% 37%
Ears and husks 7% 28% 47% 63%
'Results obtained at University of Kentucky experiments in 1965.


2










Phase 4 usually begins 3 to 5 days after ensiling and re-
quires 15 to 20 days for completion. The success of silage
making is determined during this phase. There is a gradual
increase in lactic acid content until the acidity becomes
great (3.8 to 4.2 pH) enough to stop further bacterial
action.
Phase 5 represents the keeping quality over an indefinite
period. If sufficient amounts of acetic and lactic acids were
produced in the first four phases, phase 5 is merely a period
during which the silage remains constant. An insufficient
amount of acid leads to increased decomposition, reduced
palatability, and possible spoilage.


Factors Affecting Silage Quality

There are a number of factors influencing the production
of quality silage under the four phases of fermentation.
Such factors are fermentation temperature, dry matter of


the forage, the effect of pH, available sugars and/or car-
bohydrates, and rate of filling and packing.

Temperature The optimum temperature of ferment-
ing forage varies from 90' to 105F. Temperatures outside
this range result in poorer quality silage even though pal-
atability may remain quite good. Underheated silage gives
a drab green color, strong aroma, slimy soft tissues, insipid
taste, and a pH of about 5.0. Overheated silages, frequently
referred to as "heat damaged", range in color from brown
to dark brown and have a charred hay or tobacco aroma. In
contrast, properly fermented silage is light green to yellow
in color, has a pleasant vinegary aroma, firm tissues, and
a sharp acid taste indicative of pH less than 4.5.
Heat damage resulting from high temperatures in fer-
menting forages has received considerable discussion in re-
cent years. The digestibility of protein has been found to be
reduced in the presence of oxygen and high temperatures.


PHASE 1
cell respiration
production of CO2
production of heat
PHASE 2
production of
acetic acid
PHASE 3
lactic acid
formation
begins


PHASE 4
lactic acid
formation


PHASE 5
depends upon phase 4
if enough lactic acid
was formed, the silage
remains constant

if insufficient acid was
formed, butyric acid
production begins.

protein may be broken
down and spoilage may
be excessive


69 .-'" ----------------
69 0 F 84F
,*-' 9 00 F Temperature Change 84 F


- ------- pH Change
6.0 4.2 ------40 A- -
4a _8~


ACETIC ACID LACTIC ACID
BACTERIA BACTERIA


Relative Rate of


\ Seepage Loss

^ "


I I


1 2 3 4 7


12


20


AGE OF SILAGE (days)


Figure 1


3


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The longer the heating the more the protein damage. Also,
the rate of damage increases with temperature. Reductions
in protein digestibility become quite serious above 1200E
Heating appears to not only decrease the availability of pro-
tein to the animal but also reduce the availability of car-
bohydrates. While excessively heated silages remain very
palatable and are readily consumed by animals, a consid-
erable proportion of their food value is lost. Temperatures
of fermenting forages varying from 800 to 100F should
produce excellent silage.


Dry Matter (DM) Content Forages high in dry mat-
ter present difficulties in packing. Unless good packing is
accomplished, anaerobic conditions will be hard to main-
tain. The result is a higher temperature and pH in the for-
age. High moisture forage leads to greater seepage losses
and possibly butyric acid formation. Seepage losses as
great as 35% of the total nitrogen have been reported. Most
data suggests an optimum dry matter of 28 to 35%. Table
4 contains information regarding harvesting of forages.


Table 4. Recommended stages for harvesting certain forages


Forage Stage Dry Matter
Forage Sorghum Early Heading 28-35
Grain Sorghum Late Dough 28-35
Small Grains Early Heading 28-35
Corn Medium to Late Dent 28-35


The water soluble carbohydrates in forages are a readily
available source of energy to initiate and sustain silage fer-
mentation. In the presence of adequate cabohyrdrates, the
lactic acid bacteria multiply rapidly which results in the
production of lactic acid, acetic acid, CO2, and ethanol as
fermenting end-products. Inadequate amounts ofWSCHO
in silage crops may result from the type of forage, delayed
or poor sealing of the silo, stage of growth, harvesting
methods, weather, and fertilization application.


Silage Additives and/or Preservatives

Additives can frequently be used to alter or improve fer-
mentation. Forages such as corn and sorghums require no
additives when properly harvested at the correct moisture
content and properly ensiled. Once the acidity has reached
a pH of about 4.0, the silage will keep for years providing
it is protected from air and water. A few additives that have
been used with varying degrees of success are as follows:
Grains corn meal, citrus pulp, and similar type en-
ergy ingredients may be added to forage (150-300 lbs/ton)
to increase dry matter or provide more readily available
carbohydrates for bacterial fermentation.
Special Products a number of products including
urea, wet brewers' grains, and ground hay may be used to
increase protein, dry matter, moisture, and other altera-
tions as desired or needed.
Formic Acid and Formaldehyde formic acid acidi-
fies silage and results in improved lactic acid fermentation.
Formaldehyde limits fermentation, particularly during the
first few hours of ensiling, because of its bactericidal ac-
tions. These compounds usually result in improved diges-
tibility of the forage crop to which they are applied. An
additional benefit results from the maintenance of the in-
tegrity of the plant cell so that high-moisture silages will
have less silo leakage. Formic acid and formaldehyde usu-
ally are added at about 0.4% of the green plant weight. Un-
fortunately, the cost has been nearly prohibitive in past
years.
Weak acids propionic acid is an excellent preserva-
tive for mold prevention. It has reduced temperature in-
creases in high dry matter silages and helps conserve top
silage in open silos. In experimental use, propionic acid
has been the most effective preservative. In general, 0.5%
to 1.0% of the green forage is applied depending on the
moisture content. Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are
also effective against yeasts and molds in wetter materials.
Acetic acid has preservative action but volatizes rapidly as
heat increases. Because of the high cost of propionic acid,
it is often recommended for application only in the last one
or two loads of silage at the top of conventional silos to pre-
vent top spoilage. It deserves consideration also in those
portions of the silo that will be fed during hot weather since
it will delay in-the-manger heating by 12 to 18 hours.
Anhydrous Ammonia treating corn silage with an-
hydrous ammonia by the cold flow method prior to ensiling
has been shown to be an effective way of adding NPN to
corn silage. Most reports suggest the addition of 5 to 10 lbs.
of anhydrous ammonia per ton with the preference of 10
lbs/ton. USDA studies at Beltsville using hard-dent corn
forage treated with 7 lbs/ton of anhydrous ammonia added
at the blower showed an increase in protein dry matter from
9.06 to 11.19%. The fermentation resulted in more lactic


4









acid production on ammonia treated corn silage (4.3 vs.
3.21% in DM). Average daily gains for Holstein heifers in
a 91-day growth trial were 1.9 lbs/day for untreated plus
urea, vs. 2.3 lbs. for the ammonia treated silage.
Enzymes products containing enzymes of Aspergil-
lus Oryzae and similar type products have been used in re-
cent years with varying degrees of success. A variety of
such products are available in the field even though little or
no research data is available on such products. Work at the
University of Florida showed a 2.1 lbs. milk advantage
when Aspergillus Oryzae product (GX) was used with
sugarcane forage ensiled in a Silopress air-tight plastic bag
and fed to Holstein cows. The sugarcane silage (as fed)
and grain (18% protein) were fed evenly or at a 1:1 ratio
to all cows.

Using Different Types of Silos

Structures varying from silopress bags to large bunker
silos are found in Florida. The tower or upright silo is less
popular on large dairies due to limited storage capacity it
offers for feeding large numbers of cows.
Tower Silos very little seepage occurs from forage
ensiled with less than 70% moisture in upright silos. Losses
reported in dry matter have normally varied from 8 to
20%. The losses reported from properly harvested forages
stored in gas tight silos are usually less than 10%. Greater
losses are easily encountered where packing and sealing
are poor.
Bunker and Trench Silos losses in horizontal silos
have been observed as high as 30 to 50% in unsealed or
poorly sealed silos. In recent years, the applying of plastic
film has greatly reduced storage losses. Limited work
indicates that low-moisture silage (65-75%) may be
preserved at efficiencies approaching those found in
conventional tower silos. Average losses from 70% moisture
forage stored in well-packed bunker sealed silos is about
10-20% but somewhat higher in unsealed bunker silos.

Covering the Silos

In recent years a number of Florida dairymen have har-
vested large quantities of forage and stacked them on the
ground. In many cases, little attempt may be made to cover
or seal the forage to prevent exposure and spoilage losses.
Air which gets into the silage mass because of insufficient
packing causes spoilage due to heating and poor fermen-
tation. Stacks entirely enclosed in plastic coverings have
less spoilage than regular stacks.
Covering the bunker or horizontal silo is important due
to the large exposed surface area. Covering with plastic
held down with old tires has been a common practice. Sil-
age removed from properly packed and covered horizontal


silos is comparable to silage removed from upright silos.
USDA studies showed the use of plastic covers on bunk-
ers and/or stacked forages to be an excellent investment.
According to the studies, a 3 to 4 inch layer of spoiled for-
age covering the silo represents 10 to 12 inches of original
silage. The studies showed about 10 lbs. of additional sil-
age dry matter to be preserved for each square foot of
sealed surface.


Removal of Silage From Silos

It is important that care be used in removing silage from
silos, especially bunker type silos, to keep secondary fer-
mentation from occurring. Secondary fermentation in-
volves aerobic deterioration of silage exposed to air and
especially silage that has been loosened by mechanical
processes. Noticeable signs are surface heating, slimy feel,
formation of mold, and in water soluble carbohydrates,
short-chain organic acids and starch and structural carbo-
hydrates. On a hot day, the losses in nutrients of the loos-
ened silage could exceed 40%. Feed consumption decreases
with corresponding decreases in milk production.


5


r









acid production on ammonia treated corn silage (4.3 vs.
3.21% in DM). Average daily gains for Holstein heifers in
a 91-day growth trial were 1.9 lbs/day for untreated plus
urea, vs. 2.3 lbs. for the ammonia treated silage.
Enzymes products containing enzymes of Aspergil-
lus Oryzae and similar type products have been used in re-
cent years with varying degrees of success. A variety of
such products are available in the field even though little or
no research data is available on such products. Work at the
University of Florida showed a 2.1 lbs. milk advantage
when Aspergillus Oryzae product (GX) was used with
sugarcane forage ensiled in a Silopress air-tight plastic bag
and fed to Holstein cows. The sugarcane silage (as fed)
and grain (18% protein) were fed evenly or at a 1:1 ratio
to all cows.

Using Different Types of Silos

Structures varying from silopress bags to large bunker
silos are found in Florida. The tower or upright silo is less
popular on large dairies due to limited storage capacity it
offers for feeding large numbers of cows.
Tower Silos very little seepage occurs from forage
ensiled with less than 70% moisture in upright silos. Losses
reported in dry matter have normally varied from 8 to
20%. The losses reported from properly harvested forages
stored in gas tight silos are usually less than 10%. Greater
losses are easily encountered where packing and sealing
are poor.
Bunker and Trench Silos losses in horizontal silos
have been observed as high as 30 to 50% in unsealed or
poorly sealed silos. In recent years, the applying of plastic
film has greatly reduced storage losses. Limited work
indicates that low-moisture silage (65-75%) may be
preserved at efficiencies approaching those found in
conventional tower silos. Average losses from 70% moisture
forage stored in well-packed bunker sealed silos is about
10-20% but somewhat higher in unsealed bunker silos.

Covering the Silos

In recent years a number of Florida dairymen have har-
vested large quantities of forage and stacked them on the
ground. In many cases, little attempt may be made to cover
or seal the forage to prevent exposure and spoilage losses.
Air which gets into the silage mass because of insufficient
packing causes spoilage due to heating and poor fermen-
tation. Stacks entirely enclosed in plastic coverings have
less spoilage than regular stacks.
Covering the bunker or horizontal silo is important due
to the large exposed surface area. Covering with plastic
held down with old tires has been a common practice. Sil-
age removed from properly packed and covered horizontal


silos is comparable to silage removed from upright silos.
USDA studies showed the use of plastic covers on bunk-
ers and/or stacked forages to be an excellent investment.
According to the studies, a 3 to 4 inch layer of spoiled for-
age covering the silo represents 10 to 12 inches of original
silage. The studies showed about 10 lbs. of additional sil-
age dry matter to be preserved for each square foot of
sealed surface.


Removal of Silage From Silos

It is important that care be used in removing silage from
silos, especially bunker type silos, to keep secondary fer-
mentation from occurring. Secondary fermentation in-
volves aerobic deterioration of silage exposed to air and
especially silage that has been loosened by mechanical
processes. Noticeable signs are surface heating, slimy feel,
formation of mold, and in water soluble carbohydrates,
short-chain organic acids and starch and structural carbo-
hydrates. On a hot day, the losses in nutrients of the loos-
ened silage could exceed 40%. Feed consumption decreases
with corresponding decreases in milk production.


5


r









acid production on ammonia treated corn silage (4.3 vs.
3.21% in DM). Average daily gains for Holstein heifers in
a 91-day growth trial were 1.9 lbs/day for untreated plus
urea, vs. 2.3 lbs. for the ammonia treated silage.
Enzymes products containing enzymes of Aspergil-
lus Oryzae and similar type products have been used in re-
cent years with varying degrees of success. A variety of
such products are available in the field even though little or
no research data is available on such products. Work at the
University of Florida showed a 2.1 lbs. milk advantage
when Aspergillus Oryzae product (GX) was used with
sugarcane forage ensiled in a Silopress air-tight plastic bag
and fed to Holstein cows. The sugarcane silage (as fed)
and grain (18% protein) were fed evenly or at a 1:1 ratio
to all cows.

Using Different Types of Silos

Structures varying from silopress bags to large bunker
silos are found in Florida. The tower or upright silo is less
popular on large dairies due to limited storage capacity it
offers for feeding large numbers of cows.
Tower Silos very little seepage occurs from forage
ensiled with less than 70% moisture in upright silos. Losses
reported in dry matter have normally varied from 8 to
20%. The losses reported from properly harvested forages
stored in gas tight silos are usually less than 10%. Greater
losses are easily encountered where packing and sealing
are poor.
Bunker and Trench Silos losses in horizontal silos
have been observed as high as 30 to 50% in unsealed or
poorly sealed silos. In recent years, the applying of plastic
film has greatly reduced storage losses. Limited work
indicates that low-moisture silage (65-75%) may be
preserved at efficiencies approaching those found in
conventional tower silos. Average losses from 70% moisture
forage stored in well-packed bunker sealed silos is about
10-20% but somewhat higher in unsealed bunker silos.

Covering the Silos

In recent years a number of Florida dairymen have har-
vested large quantities of forage and stacked them on the
ground. In many cases, little attempt may be made to cover
or seal the forage to prevent exposure and spoilage losses.
Air which gets into the silage mass because of insufficient
packing causes spoilage due to heating and poor fermen-
tation. Stacks entirely enclosed in plastic coverings have
less spoilage than regular stacks.
Covering the bunker or horizontal silo is important due
to the large exposed surface area. Covering with plastic
held down with old tires has been a common practice. Sil-
age removed from properly packed and covered horizontal


silos is comparable to silage removed from upright silos.
USDA studies showed the use of plastic covers on bunk-
ers and/or stacked forages to be an excellent investment.
According to the studies, a 3 to 4 inch layer of spoiled for-
age covering the silo represents 10 to 12 inches of original
silage. The studies showed about 10 lbs. of additional sil-
age dry matter to be preserved for each square foot of
sealed surface.


Removal of Silage From Silos

It is important that care be used in removing silage from
silos, especially bunker type silos, to keep secondary fer-
mentation from occurring. Secondary fermentation in-
volves aerobic deterioration of silage exposed to air and
especially silage that has been loosened by mechanical
processes. Noticeable signs are surface heating, slimy feel,
formation of mold, and in water soluble carbohydrates,
short-chain organic acids and starch and structural carbo-
hydrates. On a hot day, the losses in nutrients of the loos-
ened silage could exceed 40%. Feed consumption decreases
with corresponding decreases in milk production.


5


r








Feeding Corn Silage to Dairy Cows
Corn silage is a succulent and palatable feed that may be
fed in fairly large quantities to dairy cows. The amounts fed
in most Florida herds vary from 35 to 40 lbs/cow in the very
high herd, to 60 or 70 lbs/cow daily in the low producing
herd. Two grain mixtures may be needed if the amounts of
silage are varied too greatly since protein becomes limit-
ing. The idea is to provide a balanced ration for all levels of
milk production.
The two common approaches used in feeding silage in-
clude: 1) feeding it as a separate feed and 2) mixing the sil-
age with the concentrate to form a complete feed. The latter
system is most popular and has certain advantages. The
greater advantages are reduced separation, assured intake
of all ingredients in desired proportions, and improved in-
take of less palatable ingredients.
The composition of several silages used in Florida are
listed in Table 5.
Information in Table 6 shows that an 18% commercial
feed blended with the listed amounts of corn silage would
meet the requirements of dairy cows.
Table 6. Feeding corn silage to dairy cows
Milk Production (Ib) 30 40 50 60 70 80
Feeding Program (Ib)
Silage, corn (20% TDN. 60 60 50 50 40 40
2.5% CP)
Grain needed (70% TDN, 12 15 22 26 33 38
18% CP)

Dairymen using mixer wagons and purchasing ingredi-
ents frequently blend a variety of ingredients together in a
manner similar to the rations shown in Table 7. The amounts
are multiplied according to the number of cows placed in
the group.


I


-1'


1U7


The mineral mix used in the rations shown in Table 7
demonstrate the importance of changing the mineral com-
position as ingredients are varied in the ration.


Table 5. Average silage analysis 1967-82* (As fed)
Forage Samples Moisture CP Fiber TDN ENE
(%) (%) (%) (%) (MCal)
Corn 300 71.0 2.4 7.0 20.1 17.5
Grass- Callie 7 65.0 2.7 10.6 18.0 15.0
Grass- Coastal Bermuda 5 66.0 2.8 11.5 17.5 14.0
Grass- Pangola 25 71.3 2.2 10.0 15.1 12.0
Mixed Grasses 45 71.6 2.5 9.7 15.4 11.6
Millet 8 74.5 1.7 8.2 11.9 10.0
Small Grain Oat 6 64.0 3.0 10.4 18.6 17.6
Small Grain- Rye 5 66.0 3.2 9.5 17.0 15.0
Sorghum- Grain 75 70.2 2.2 7.9 16.5 14.0
Sorghum -Sudan Hybrid 50 75.5 2.1 7.4 12.0 10.0
* Forage samples submitted to the State Department of Agriculture testing lab.


6









Table 7. Feeding com silage to high producing cows
Ingredients Ibs CP TDN Ca Phos
Ration 1 70# Milk
(Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib)
Corn Silage 40 1.00 8.00 .036 .020
Soybean meal (44) 9.5 4.18 7.41 .019 .057
Soy hulls 4 0.43 2.80 .015 .006
Citrus pulp 4 0.25 2.88 .060 .004
Corn meal 12 1.03 9.60 .002 .036
Masonex 2 1.20 .010 -
Mineral 0.7 .105 .056
(15%Ca,8%P) 6.89 31.89 .247 .179
Requirements 6.86 31.00 .230 .165
(1400# Cow) + + + +
Ration 2- 60# Milk
Corn silage 50 1.20 9.00 .045 .025
Corn meal 10 0.86 8.00 .002 .031
Wheat midds 5 0.80 3.80 .007 .045
Cottonseed, whole 7 1.47 6.16 .009 .047
Peanut meal 3.5 1.75 2.66 .007 .021
Mineral 0.7 .147 -
(21%Ca, 0%P) 6.08 29.62 .217 .169
Requirements 6.04 28.10 .204 .147
(1400#) + + + +
Ration 3- 50# Milk
Com silage 50.0 1.20 10.00 .040 .020
Peanut meal (50) 3.2 1.60 2.43 .006 .019
Wheat, gnd 4.0 0.56 3.12 .002 .016
Hominy feed 6.0 0.63 4.92 .003 .033
Cottonseed 6.0 1.26 5.28 .008 .040
Mineral 0.6 .126 .018
(21% Ca, 3% P) 5.25 25.75 .185 .146
Requirements 5.22 25.00 .178 .129
(1400# Cow) + + + +



Feeding Sorghum Silage to Dairy Cattle

Sorghum, sudangrass, millets, and various varieties of
sorghum-sudangrass hybrids have all been grown with
good success in Florida. They preserve well when har-
vested at the right stage of maturity and packed properly
in silos.
Grain sorghums are popular forages for making silage.
The combine-type grain sorghum makes a very palatable
and quality silage and in trials at Mississippi State were
found to be equal to corn silage. The corn was harvested in
a dent stage and the sorghum (RS610) in a milk to soft-
dough stage.
Forage sorghum hybrids should be selected for their abil-
ity to produce forage (dry matter) rather than grain. Silage


yields of forage sorghum are usually very similar to those
of corn. Experimental trials at various stations have shown
that forage-type grain sorghums do not support as high a
level of milk production as corn silage.
Sorghum-sudan hybrids and millets are usually har-
vested between the time heads emerge from the boot and
early bloom. If harvested more than once, they may be cut
whenever the plants reach an average height of 30 inches or
more. However, when cut at an early stage, it is important
to wilt the crop to remove excessive moisture and to use a
preservative. Sorghum-sudan hybrids and millets are bet-
ter suited for pasture and green chop than for silage. An
analysis of the various forages used for silage is shown in
Table 5.
Sorghum silage is fed similar to corn silage in average
amounts per cow. High producing cows are usually fed 35-
45 lbs. daily with higher amounts to lower producing cows.
Dairymen having both corn and sorghum silage are en-
couraged to use the corn silage for the higher producing
cows.


Grasses for Silage

A variety of bermuda grasses including Coastal, Callie,
Alicia, and Coastcross 1 as well as Pangolagrass are fre-
quently harvested and preserved as silage in Florida. Most,
however, are used in the production of hay and as perma-
nent pastures. Work at the Coastal Plain Experiment Sta-
tion in Georgia showed Coastal bermuda grass silage to be
inferior to corn silage for lactating cows. In a subsequent
study, the addition of 150 pounds of snapped corn per ton
improved quality comparable to corn silage. Additional
work is needed to determine the affect of ensiling on fiber
digestibility.

Using Alfalfa as Silage

Alfalfa and mixtures of alfalfa and grass are frequently
used for making silage. This is especially true under ad-
verse weather conditions such as are prevalent in Florida
during the summer. Harvesting the alfalfa as silage or green
chop reduces leaf losses thereby preserving more nutrients.
While alfalfa forage presents some problems when using as
a silage crop, those problems can be overcome with good
management techniques and principles.
Alfalfa forage is lower in sugar content than corn or
sorghum forage. Also, alfalfa contains more protein and is
more alkaline. This alkalinity of alfalfa along with the
higher protein content tends to neutralize the acids from
sugar fermentation and causes some problems in arriving
at the most desirable pH (3.5-4.0). To overcome this prob-
lem, wilting the forage to about 30 or 40% dry matter has
been used with success (Table 8).


7









Table 7. Feeding com silage to high producing cows
Ingredients Ibs CP TDN Ca Phos
Ration 1 70# Milk
(Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib)
Corn Silage 40 1.00 8.00 .036 .020
Soybean meal (44) 9.5 4.18 7.41 .019 .057
Soy hulls 4 0.43 2.80 .015 .006
Citrus pulp 4 0.25 2.88 .060 .004
Corn meal 12 1.03 9.60 .002 .036
Masonex 2 1.20 .010 -
Mineral 0.7 .105 .056
(15%Ca,8%P) 6.89 31.89 .247 .179
Requirements 6.86 31.00 .230 .165
(1400# Cow) + + + +
Ration 2- 60# Milk
Corn silage 50 1.20 9.00 .045 .025
Corn meal 10 0.86 8.00 .002 .031
Wheat midds 5 0.80 3.80 .007 .045
Cottonseed, whole 7 1.47 6.16 .009 .047
Peanut meal 3.5 1.75 2.66 .007 .021
Mineral 0.7 .147 -
(21%Ca, 0%P) 6.08 29.62 .217 .169
Requirements 6.04 28.10 .204 .147
(1400#) + + + +
Ration 3- 50# Milk
Com silage 50.0 1.20 10.00 .040 .020
Peanut meal (50) 3.2 1.60 2.43 .006 .019
Wheat, gnd 4.0 0.56 3.12 .002 .016
Hominy feed 6.0 0.63 4.92 .003 .033
Cottonseed 6.0 1.26 5.28 .008 .040
Mineral 0.6 .126 .018
(21% Ca, 3% P) 5.25 25.75 .185 .146
Requirements 5.22 25.00 .178 .129
(1400# Cow) + + + +



Feeding Sorghum Silage to Dairy Cattle

Sorghum, sudangrass, millets, and various varieties of
sorghum-sudangrass hybrids have all been grown with
good success in Florida. They preserve well when har-
vested at the right stage of maturity and packed properly
in silos.
Grain sorghums are popular forages for making silage.
The combine-type grain sorghum makes a very palatable
and quality silage and in trials at Mississippi State were
found to be equal to corn silage. The corn was harvested in
a dent stage and the sorghum (RS610) in a milk to soft-
dough stage.
Forage sorghum hybrids should be selected for their abil-
ity to produce forage (dry matter) rather than grain. Silage


yields of forage sorghum are usually very similar to those
of corn. Experimental trials at various stations have shown
that forage-type grain sorghums do not support as high a
level of milk production as corn silage.
Sorghum-sudan hybrids and millets are usually har-
vested between the time heads emerge from the boot and
early bloom. If harvested more than once, they may be cut
whenever the plants reach an average height of 30 inches or
more. However, when cut at an early stage, it is important
to wilt the crop to remove excessive moisture and to use a
preservative. Sorghum-sudan hybrids and millets are bet-
ter suited for pasture and green chop than for silage. An
analysis of the various forages used for silage is shown in
Table 5.
Sorghum silage is fed similar to corn silage in average
amounts per cow. High producing cows are usually fed 35-
45 lbs. daily with higher amounts to lower producing cows.
Dairymen having both corn and sorghum silage are en-
couraged to use the corn silage for the higher producing
cows.


Grasses for Silage

A variety of bermuda grasses including Coastal, Callie,
Alicia, and Coastcross 1 as well as Pangolagrass are fre-
quently harvested and preserved as silage in Florida. Most,
however, are used in the production of hay and as perma-
nent pastures. Work at the Coastal Plain Experiment Sta-
tion in Georgia showed Coastal bermuda grass silage to be
inferior to corn silage for lactating cows. In a subsequent
study, the addition of 150 pounds of snapped corn per ton
improved quality comparable to corn silage. Additional
work is needed to determine the affect of ensiling on fiber
digestibility.

Using Alfalfa as Silage

Alfalfa and mixtures of alfalfa and grass are frequently
used for making silage. This is especially true under ad-
verse weather conditions such as are prevalent in Florida
during the summer. Harvesting the alfalfa as silage or green
chop reduces leaf losses thereby preserving more nutrients.
While alfalfa forage presents some problems when using as
a silage crop, those problems can be overcome with good
management techniques and principles.
Alfalfa forage is lower in sugar content than corn or
sorghum forage. Also, alfalfa contains more protein and is
more alkaline. This alkalinity of alfalfa along with the
higher protein content tends to neutralize the acids from
sugar fermentation and causes some problems in arriving
at the most desirable pH (3.5-4.0). To overcome this prob-
lem, wilting the forage to about 30 or 40% dry matter has
been used with success (Table 8).


7









Table 7. Feeding com silage to high producing cows
Ingredients Ibs CP TDN Ca Phos
Ration 1 70# Milk
(Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib)
Corn Silage 40 1.00 8.00 .036 .020
Soybean meal (44) 9.5 4.18 7.41 .019 .057
Soy hulls 4 0.43 2.80 .015 .006
Citrus pulp 4 0.25 2.88 .060 .004
Corn meal 12 1.03 9.60 .002 .036
Masonex 2 1.20 .010 -
Mineral 0.7 .105 .056
(15%Ca,8%P) 6.89 31.89 .247 .179
Requirements 6.86 31.00 .230 .165
(1400# Cow) + + + +
Ration 2- 60# Milk
Corn silage 50 1.20 9.00 .045 .025
Corn meal 10 0.86 8.00 .002 .031
Wheat midds 5 0.80 3.80 .007 .045
Cottonseed, whole 7 1.47 6.16 .009 .047
Peanut meal 3.5 1.75 2.66 .007 .021
Mineral 0.7 .147 -
(21%Ca, 0%P) 6.08 29.62 .217 .169
Requirements 6.04 28.10 .204 .147
(1400#) + + + +
Ration 3- 50# Milk
Com silage 50.0 1.20 10.00 .040 .020
Peanut meal (50) 3.2 1.60 2.43 .006 .019
Wheat, gnd 4.0 0.56 3.12 .002 .016
Hominy feed 6.0 0.63 4.92 .003 .033
Cottonseed 6.0 1.26 5.28 .008 .040
Mineral 0.6 .126 .018
(21% Ca, 3% P) 5.25 25.75 .185 .146
Requirements 5.22 25.00 .178 .129
(1400# Cow) + + + +



Feeding Sorghum Silage to Dairy Cattle

Sorghum, sudangrass, millets, and various varieties of
sorghum-sudangrass hybrids have all been grown with
good success in Florida. They preserve well when har-
vested at the right stage of maturity and packed properly
in silos.
Grain sorghums are popular forages for making silage.
The combine-type grain sorghum makes a very palatable
and quality silage and in trials at Mississippi State were
found to be equal to corn silage. The corn was harvested in
a dent stage and the sorghum (RS610) in a milk to soft-
dough stage.
Forage sorghum hybrids should be selected for their abil-
ity to produce forage (dry matter) rather than grain. Silage


yields of forage sorghum are usually very similar to those
of corn. Experimental trials at various stations have shown
that forage-type grain sorghums do not support as high a
level of milk production as corn silage.
Sorghum-sudan hybrids and millets are usually har-
vested between the time heads emerge from the boot and
early bloom. If harvested more than once, they may be cut
whenever the plants reach an average height of 30 inches or
more. However, when cut at an early stage, it is important
to wilt the crop to remove excessive moisture and to use a
preservative. Sorghum-sudan hybrids and millets are bet-
ter suited for pasture and green chop than for silage. An
analysis of the various forages used for silage is shown in
Table 5.
Sorghum silage is fed similar to corn silage in average
amounts per cow. High producing cows are usually fed 35-
45 lbs. daily with higher amounts to lower producing cows.
Dairymen having both corn and sorghum silage are en-
couraged to use the corn silage for the higher producing
cows.


Grasses for Silage

A variety of bermuda grasses including Coastal, Callie,
Alicia, and Coastcross 1 as well as Pangolagrass are fre-
quently harvested and preserved as silage in Florida. Most,
however, are used in the production of hay and as perma-
nent pastures. Work at the Coastal Plain Experiment Sta-
tion in Georgia showed Coastal bermuda grass silage to be
inferior to corn silage for lactating cows. In a subsequent
study, the addition of 150 pounds of snapped corn per ton
improved quality comparable to corn silage. Additional
work is needed to determine the affect of ensiling on fiber
digestibility.

Using Alfalfa as Silage

Alfalfa and mixtures of alfalfa and grass are frequently
used for making silage. This is especially true under ad-
verse weather conditions such as are prevalent in Florida
during the summer. Harvesting the alfalfa as silage or green
chop reduces leaf losses thereby preserving more nutrients.
While alfalfa forage presents some problems when using as
a silage crop, those problems can be overcome with good
management techniques and principles.
Alfalfa forage is lower in sugar content than corn or
sorghum forage. Also, alfalfa contains more protein and is
more alkaline. This alkalinity of alfalfa along with the
higher protein content tends to neutralize the acids from
sugar fermentation and causes some problems in arriving
at the most desirable pH (3.5-4.0). To overcome this prob-
lem, wilting the forage to about 30 or 40% dry matter has
been used with success (Table 8).


7









Table 8. Using alfalfa as silage (as fed basis)
DM CP TDN Ca Phos Fiber
(Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib)
Alfalfa, silage 40 7.7 26.6 0.60 .13 13.6
Alfalfa, silage 30 5.8 20.0 0.45 .10 10.2



Alfalfa silage may be used in dairy cattle rations similar
to corn or sorghum silage with the exception that adjust-
ments must be made in calculating the calcium and protein
needs. Table 9 gives an example of the type of ration needed
to use with alfalfa silage or haylage.


Table 9. Feeding program for cows producing 70# milk
Ibs CP TDN Ca Phos
(Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib)
Alfalfa silage 45 2.61 9.00 .208 .045
Hay, Bermuda 5 0.35 2.00 .010 .005
Grain mix* 29 4.35 20.00 .145 .130
7.31 31.00 .357 .180
* 15% crude protein, 70% TDN, 0.5% calcium, and .45% phos.


The level of calcium provided by the ration in Table 9
appears high but would present no problems so long as the
level of phosporus is adequate.


Economic Considerations in Feeding Silage
The economics for growing and feeding silage in Florida
have become more favorable in recent years due to the high
cost of by-product roughages. Information in Table 10
shows the value of corn silage used in combination with a
grain supplement versus a complete feed. Figures shown
are based on dairy cows consuming 50 lbs. of corn silage
and adequate grain to meet the requirements for 50 lbs. of
3.5% milk versus the consumption of a complete feed with
cottonseed hulls to meet the requirements for a similar
amount of milk.
The information in Table 10 is quite simple and should
be used only as a guide in estimating the value of good qual-
ity corn silage at the feed bunk rather than in the silo. As
an example, if a complete feed cost $150 per ton and a 20%
grain supplement costs $170 per ton, the good quality corn
silage would be worth approximately $43.90 per ton mixed
and delivered to the feed bunk.

Contracting Forages for Silage
In recent years, a number of dairymen have been con-
tacted about purchasing forage for ensiling or the silage it-
self. Such an endeavor can be very beneficial to dairymen
and should be explored when the opportunity presents it-
self. However, an equitable and competitive price must be
reached by the two parties for the endeavor to be econom-
ically sound. An actual feeding value must be established.


Table 10. The feeding value of corn silage per ton based on using a complete feed versus an 18-20% grain supplement to use
with corn silage
18-20% Cost of Complete Feed Per Ton*
Grain $125 $130 $135 $140 $145 $150 $155 $160 $165 $170 $175
$140 $37.30 $41.20 $45.10 $49.00 $52.90 $56.80 $60.70 $64.80 $68.50 $72.40 $76.30
$145 $35.15 $39.05 $42.95 $46.85 $50.75 $54.65 $58.55 $62.45 $66.35 $70.25 $74.15
$150 $33.00 $36.90 $40.80 $44.70 $48.60 $52.50 $56.40 $60.30 $64.20 $68.10 $72.00
$155 $30.85 $34.75 $38.65 $42.55 $46.45 $50.35 $54.25 $58.15 $62.05 $65.95 $69.85
$160 $28.70 $32.60 $36.50 $40.40 $44.30 $48.20 $52.10 $56.00 $59.90 $63.80 $67.70
$165 $26.55 $30.45 $34.35 $38.25 $42.15 $46.05 $49.95 $53.85 $57.75 $61.65 $65.55
$170 $24.40 $28.30 $32.20 $36.10 $40.00 $43.90. $47.80 $51.70 $55.60 $59.50 $63.40
$175 $22.25 $26.15 $30.05 $33.95 $37.85 $41.75 $45.65 $49.55 $53.45 $57.35 $61.25
$180 $20.10 $24.00 $27.90 $31.90 $35.70 $39.60 $43.50 $47.40 $51.30 $55.20 $59.10
$185 $17.95 $21.85 $25.75 $29.65 $33.55 $37.45 $41.35 $45.25 $49.15 $53.05 $56.95
$190 $15.80 $19.70 $23.60 $27.50 $31.40 $35.30 $39.20 $43.10 $47.00 $50.90 $54.80
$200 $13.65 $17.55 $21.45 $25.35 $29.25 $33.15 $37.05 $40.95 $44.85 $48.75 $52.65
$205 $11.50 $15.40 $19.30 $19.30 $23.20 $27.10 $34.90 $38.80 $42.70 $46.60 $50.50
$210 $ 9.35 $13.25 $17.15 $21.05 $24.95 $28.85 $32.75 $36.65 $40.55 $44.45 $48.35
$215 $ 7.20 $11.10 $15.00 $18.90 $22.80 $26.70 $30.60 $34.50 $38.40 $42.30 $46.20
$220 $ 5.05 $ 8.95 $12.85 $16.75 $20.65 $24.55 $28.45 $32.35 $36.25 $40.15 $44.05
$225 $ 2.90 $ 6.80 $10.70 $14.60 $18.50 $22.40 $26.30 $30.20 $34.10 $38.00 $41.90
$230 $ 0.75 $ 4.65 $ 8.55 $12.45 $16.35 $20.25 $24.15 $28.05 $31.95 $35.85 $39.75
*Complete Feed contains 13% CP, 64% TDN, 18% fiber, 0.7% ca and 0.4% phos.


8


i









Table 8. Using alfalfa as silage (as fed basis)
DM CP TDN Ca Phos Fiber
(Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib)
Alfalfa, silage 40 7.7 26.6 0.60 .13 13.6
Alfalfa, silage 30 5.8 20.0 0.45 .10 10.2



Alfalfa silage may be used in dairy cattle rations similar
to corn or sorghum silage with the exception that adjust-
ments must be made in calculating the calcium and protein
needs. Table 9 gives an example of the type of ration needed
to use with alfalfa silage or haylage.


Table 9. Feeding program for cows producing 70# milk
Ibs CP TDN Ca Phos
(Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Ib)
Alfalfa silage 45 2.61 9.00 .208 .045
Hay, Bermuda 5 0.35 2.00 .010 .005
Grain mix* 29 4.35 20.00 .145 .130
7.31 31.00 .357 .180
* 15% crude protein, 70% TDN, 0.5% calcium, and .45% phos.


The level of calcium provided by the ration in Table 9
appears high but would present no problems so long as the
level of phosporus is adequate.


Economic Considerations in Feeding Silage
The economics for growing and feeding silage in Florida
have become more favorable in recent years due to the high
cost of by-product roughages. Information in Table 10
shows the value of corn silage used in combination with a
grain supplement versus a complete feed. Figures shown
are based on dairy cows consuming 50 lbs. of corn silage
and adequate grain to meet the requirements for 50 lbs. of
3.5% milk versus the consumption of a complete feed with
cottonseed hulls to meet the requirements for a similar
amount of milk.
The information in Table 10 is quite simple and should
be used only as a guide in estimating the value of good qual-
ity corn silage at the feed bunk rather than in the silo. As
an example, if a complete feed cost $150 per ton and a 20%
grain supplement costs $170 per ton, the good quality corn
silage would be worth approximately $43.90 per ton mixed
and delivered to the feed bunk.

Contracting Forages for Silage
In recent years, a number of dairymen have been con-
tacted about purchasing forage for ensiling or the silage it-
self. Such an endeavor can be very beneficial to dairymen
and should be explored when the opportunity presents it-
self. However, an equitable and competitive price must be
reached by the two parties for the endeavor to be econom-
ically sound. An actual feeding value must be established.


Table 10. The feeding value of corn silage per ton based on using a complete feed versus an 18-20% grain supplement to use
with corn silage
18-20% Cost of Complete Feed Per Ton*
Grain $125 $130 $135 $140 $145 $150 $155 $160 $165 $170 $175
$140 $37.30 $41.20 $45.10 $49.00 $52.90 $56.80 $60.70 $64.80 $68.50 $72.40 $76.30
$145 $35.15 $39.05 $42.95 $46.85 $50.75 $54.65 $58.55 $62.45 $66.35 $70.25 $74.15
$150 $33.00 $36.90 $40.80 $44.70 $48.60 $52.50 $56.40 $60.30 $64.20 $68.10 $72.00
$155 $30.85 $34.75 $38.65 $42.55 $46.45 $50.35 $54.25 $58.15 $62.05 $65.95 $69.85
$160 $28.70 $32.60 $36.50 $40.40 $44.30 $48.20 $52.10 $56.00 $59.90 $63.80 $67.70
$165 $26.55 $30.45 $34.35 $38.25 $42.15 $46.05 $49.95 $53.85 $57.75 $61.65 $65.55
$170 $24.40 $28.30 $32.20 $36.10 $40.00 $43.90. $47.80 $51.70 $55.60 $59.50 $63.40
$175 $22.25 $26.15 $30.05 $33.95 $37.85 $41.75 $45.65 $49.55 $53.45 $57.35 $61.25
$180 $20.10 $24.00 $27.90 $31.90 $35.70 $39.60 $43.50 $47.40 $51.30 $55.20 $59.10
$185 $17.95 $21.85 $25.75 $29.65 $33.55 $37.45 $41.35 $45.25 $49.15 $53.05 $56.95
$190 $15.80 $19.70 $23.60 $27.50 $31.40 $35.30 $39.20 $43.10 $47.00 $50.90 $54.80
$200 $13.65 $17.55 $21.45 $25.35 $29.25 $33.15 $37.05 $40.95 $44.85 $48.75 $52.65
$205 $11.50 $15.40 $19.30 $19.30 $23.20 $27.10 $34.90 $38.80 $42.70 $46.60 $50.50
$210 $ 9.35 $13.25 $17.15 $21.05 $24.95 $28.85 $32.75 $36.65 $40.55 $44.45 $48.35
$215 $ 7.20 $11.10 $15.00 $18.90 $22.80 $26.70 $30.60 $34.50 $38.40 $42.30 $46.20
$220 $ 5.05 $ 8.95 $12.85 $16.75 $20.65 $24.55 $28.45 $32.35 $36.25 $40.15 $44.05
$225 $ 2.90 $ 6.80 $10.70 $14.60 $18.50 $22.40 $26.30 $30.20 $34.10 $38.00 $41.90
$230 $ 0.75 $ 4.65 $ 8.55 $12.45 $16.35 $20.25 $24.15 $28.05 $31.95 $35.85 $39.75
*Complete Feed contains 13% CP, 64% TDN, 18% fiber, 0.7% ca and 0.4% phos.


8


i









The level of moisture in silage varies considerably. The
variation is mainly due to the amount of moisture at the
time of ensiling, the amount of surface area exposed to
rainfall, and any seepage that may have occurred during
storage. It stands to reason then that the amount of dry mat-
ter in silage must be taken into consideration prior to pur-
chasing wet forage.
Table 11 contains a number of values per ton for silage
containing different moisture levels. Please note that the
price has been varied up and down from the 70% moisture
base. As an example, if you agree to pay $18 per ton for
corn silage containing 70% moisture and actually receive
75% moisture silage, you would then pay $25 per ton. Pur-
chasing silage on the basis of dry matter is the most im-
portant and first agreement that must be settled between the
two parties prior to signing a contract.

Summary

Group-feeding of a complete corn silage base ration rep-
resents a practical approach to feeding dairy cows where


facilities and equipment are available to handle such a feed-
ing system. In general, a mixer wagon with scales is needed
and most of the feed is fed outside the milking barn. The
grain mixture would be blended with the corn silage in the
mixer wagon in such proportions to meet the needs of cows
grouped according to production. Also, grain could pos-
sibly be added over the silage in a self-feeder wagon, and
as the silage is unloaded, the grain is automatically mixed
with the silage.
At the beginning of the silage feeding period, the grain
mixture should be reevaluated and its protein content cal-
culated. In general, more protein is needed in the grain
mixture when corn or sorghum silage is fed. The specifi-
cations for protein content in a complete feed containing
cottonseed hulls or bagasse pellets is about 13%. The grain
mixture fed in combination with corn or sorghum silage
should contain from 16 to 20% crude protein depending on
the level of corn or sorghum silage being fed. Less protein
is needed in the grain to be blended with corn silage if a
high protein supplement is fed in the parlor.


Table 11. Dry matter equivalent table for determining value of silages with varying moisture content
Lbs. Dry
Percent Matter
Moisture Per Ton ---------------- Dollars Per Ton Based On Dry Matter Content -------


20.00
21.00
22.00
23.00
24.00
25.00
26.00
27.00
28.00
29.00
30.00
31.00
32.00
33.00
34.00
35.00
36.00
37.00
38.00
39.00
40.00


21.33 22.67 24.00
22.40 23.80 25.20
23.47 24.93 26.40
24.53 26.07 27.60
25.60 27.20 28.80
26.67 28.33 30.00
27.73 29.47 31.10
28.80 30.60 32.40
29.87 31.73 33.60
30.93 32.87 34.80
32.00 34.00 36.00
33.07 35.13 37.20
34.13 36.27 38.40
35.20 37.40 39.60
36.27 38.53 40.80
37.33 39.67 42.00
38.40 40.80 43.20
39.47 41.93 44.40
40.53 43.07 45.60
41.60 44.20 46.80
42.67 45.33 48.00


80
79
78
77
76
75
74
73
72
71
70
69
68
67
66
65
64
63
62
61
60


400
420
440
460
480
500
520
540
560
580
600
620
640
660
680
700
720
740
760
780
800


13.33
14.00
14.67
15.33
16.00
16.67
17.33
18.00
18.67
19.33
20.00
20.67
21.33
22.00
22.67
23.33
24.00
24.67
25.33
26.00
26.67


14.67
15.40
16.13
16.87
17.60
18.33
19.07
19.80
20.53
21.27
22.00
22.73
23.47
24.20
24.93
25.67
26.40
27.13
27.87
28.60
29.33


16.00
16.80
17.60
18.40
19.20
20.00
20.80
21.60
22.40
23.20
24.00
24.80
25.60
26.40
27.20
28.00
28.80
29.60
30.40
31.20
32.00


17.34
18.21
19.07
19.94
20.81
21.68
22.54
23.41
24.28
25.14
26.00
26.88
27.74
28.61
29.48
30.35
31.21
32.08
32.95
33.81
34.68


18.66
19.59
20.53
21.46
22.39
23.33
24.26
25.19
26.12
27.06
28.00
28.92
29.86
30.79
31.72
32.66
33.59
34.52
35.45
36.39
37.32


9









































































This public document was promulgated at a cost of $1,203.00 or 40 cents per copy, to provide
information on harvesting, storing, and feeding silage to dairy cattle. 02-3M-84


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL
SCIENCES, K. R. Tefertller, director, In cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this Infor-
mation to further the purpose of the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and Is authorized to Provide research, educa-
tional information and other services only to Individuals and Institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex or
national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publications) are available free to Florida
residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers is available from
C. M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Galnesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this
publication, editors should contact this address to determine availability.


i