10. Silage Corn at the North Central Research Station
The North Central Research Station is all about research, although not all of the ground is in plots. In addition to the experiments, part of the farm is used for crop production. For the first time, some of the production corn was chopped for silage for a nearby dairy farm.
It was not necessarily a silage corn hybrid, but it was some good-looking corn and was at 65% moisture, so they chopped it. I have seen silage chopping from afar, though never up close like this. But you certainly do not want to get too close and be in the way of this ten-row Claas Jaguar chopper. Just watching it fly through the corn with that viscous looking header will make you stand clear. We have wanted to run some silage fertilizer trials for some time, but don’t have the actual silage chopping equipment. There are semi-reliable ways of making conversions, but we are all about actuality. In talking to the dairyman, we should be able to run some sort of (simple) trial next year taking truck weights on the portable scales that are used to keep track of how much of our corn he harvested. Plus we can grab some silage samples for quality analysis from the trucks if they slow down long enough to allow it. The hard part will be keeping it simple enough to keep track of and not slow down the operation. So I’m telling you there’s a chance.
(Jerry Wilhm, Ph.D. September 10, 2020)