While corn harvest has started in the southern to central areas of the United States, South Dakota farmers are in the middle of silage season. Choppers are making their way through cornfields mincing the plants into feed for dairy and/or beef cattle for the coming year.
For those unfamiliar with how the silage process works, we have a video of silage harvest from South Dakota Corn Utilization Council director, Jason Kontz’s family farm from 2012 (a drought year).
Why do famers chop some of their cornfields for silage? Chopping the entire plant makes for great cattle feed that is high in energy and easily digestible.
Kontz says, “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.”
For more information about corn silage, Jason’s wife, Morgan, a Common Ground volunteer and author of the blog, “Stories of a First Generation Farm Wife,” recently wrote about this year’s silage harvest and provides regular updates from their farm.
To get more in-depth, click here for silage management information from South Dakota State University Extension.