Processed corn silage produces more silage effluent than unprocessed silage.

Research conducted at Washington State University and reported at the joint annual meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science held in July compared both unprocessed and processed corn silage harvested at a low dry matter — 23 percent — to determine if the processed silage would increase moisture losses during storage.

The processed corn silage yielded 148.61 pounds of effluent per 2,000 pounds of forage, compared to 92.66 pounds of effluent for unprocessed silage. In light of these findings, it’s imperative to feed wet silage quickly, says Joe Harrison, extension dairy specialist at Washington State University.

The table below summarizes the results of the study:

% dry matter of effluent* Lbs. effluent loss per 2,000 lbs. of forage** Lbs. dry matter loss in effluent per 2,000 lbs. of forage*
Processed 6.03 148.61 4.95
Unprocessed 6.64 92.66 2.728

* Average of first 39 days of observation.
** Average accumulative loss in first 95 days of observation.
Source: Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 83, Suppl. 1/2000, page 112.