The hot, dry weather across the state this summer along with early planting has put the corn silage season in fast forward. Corn farmers around the state have their choppers running as they cut down fields for quality livestock forage.
While chopping corn for silage in South Dakota is a typical late summer task, many experts expect an increase in the amount of acres chopped this year to salvage the dry, disappointing crop.
South Dakota Corn Utilization Council director Jason Kontz, who farms with his family north of Colman, said, “Cutting silage is an excellent way to make the most out of corn fields that have been affected by drought. We are fortunate to have a diversified farm where we have a lot of cattle to feed and this type of forage is an excellent source of nutrition for our livestock.”
Just how far ahead of schedule is silage harvest this year due to the drought? According to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service as of Sunday, August 12 the harvest progress of corn silage in South Dakota was at 35%. At this time last year the percentage was zero and the five-year average shows a progress percentage of one.
As a reminder, there are a number of things that need to be considered for those who are chopping silage, including nitrate levels, nutrient values and corn condition assessment. You can find those resources here: http://www.sdcorn.org/archives/2659