Cornell University’s Pro-Dairy program recently released corn silage hybrid trial data featuring yields and milk-yield data. Some 29 silage hybrids from eight companies were tested at two locations in New York in 2016. They were planted at the Musgrave Research Farm at Aurora (Cayuga County) and at Greenwood Farms at Madrid (St. Lawrence County).
New and leading corn silage hybrids were evaluated for yield, moisture at harvest, quality characteristics, milk per ton and calculated milk yields. Tonnage ranged from 24.6 tons per acre, adjusted to 35% dry matter, to 31.3 tons per acre.
All were planted using a two-row planter at 34,000 plants per acre. Each plot consisted of two 20-foot rows spaced 30 inches apart. After emergence, each row was thinned to 17 feet, 5inches and a population of 32,000 where emerged population permitted.
The silage variety tests were resumed on a limited basis in 2016 with the hire of Joe Lawrence, Cornell Pro-Dairy forage crop production specialist. In 2017, Lawrence hopes to double this number “as the trials will be expanded to include both shorter- and longer-season hybrids.”
New York dairy farmers have long relied on the work of Cornell University as the only state-specific, comprehensive, unbiased resource for corn silage-making decisions, notes Meghan Hauser of Table Rock Farm at Castile, N.Y. “With corn hybrids changing at a rapid pace, with the mounting cost of seed and with the increasingly competitive nature of dairy farming, dairy farmers need every advantage available to make our businesses succeed. These trials both make and save money for farmers,” adds Hauser.
The 2016 results are posted on the Cornell Soil and Crop Sciences Variety Trials webpage.