Regarding the second question of pay-off, more dedicated studies will need to be performed. But Barmore is optimistic that, based on the initial Wisconsin trial and his clients’ personal experiences, producing Shredlage or a corn silage product with similar characteristics will prove to be financially worthwhile.
“In almost all regions of the country, the economics of feeding corn silage are very favorable for dairies,” he says. “The keys to maximizing the value of that feedstuff will be in processing it such a way that we can extract maximum nutritive value from it, and having specific metrics and goals in place to define the quality of the end product.”
Shredlage™ is a trademarked, patented technology from Shredlage™, L.L.C.
Sidebar: A dairyman’s views after two crops of ShredlageTM
When Tom Mueller was in the market for a new silage chopper in 2012, he purchased one of first units in the country that was retrofitted with a ShredlageTM processor.
“The main reason we were interested in Shredlage was because we wanted to gain more control over growing our own feedstuffs,” say Mueller, who is president of Miltrim Farms, Inc., a 1,800-cow dairy near Athens, Wis. “Our hope was that the ability to use a longer particle length would help us cut down on the purchased straw and whole cottonseed we were using in our TMR.”
Miltrim Farms is one of the few dairies in the country that has processed Shredlage for two years. And, like nearly any two crop years, they were very different.
“This past year was a drought year, and we had to process a lot more acres to fill the bunkers. I’m happy with the quality of the product, though, and I think the more vigorous kernel obliteration with the Shredlage processor helped to maximize our feed value out of that dry corn.”
Working with his nutritionist, Jim Barmore, Mueller has been able to pull all of the straw and some of the cottonseed out of his lactating TMR. Milk production for the herd has increased at the same time, although there have been other factors besides Shredlage that have changed in the herd the past two years.