Animals with founder, or laminitis, have an inflammation of the soft tissue around the hoof bone that can cause permanent damage to the foot.
He offered a series of steps to help avoid these problems:
- Raise the cutter bar to 12 inches the first few days of chopping.
- Gradually introduce animals to green chop.
- Use other feeds that are low in nitrate as part of the ration.
- Feed green chop in small quantities throughout the day, rather than large quantities once per day.
- Don’t allow green-chop forage to set on a wagon overnight.
- Feed 2-3 pounds of grain with high nitrate feeds.
- Take extra precautions during the first 2-3 days following rain because nitrate levels tend to increase during this period.
“As plants mature, nitrate levels decline, so animals become acclimated and the chances for toxicity decrease over time,” Johnson said.
Corn growers looking to sell drought-damaged corn for silage, and livestock producers looking to purchase it, need to understand how to properly price the crop.
The value of the corn as silage can be determined with the using either of the following free Purdue Extension Publications: http://www.extension.purdue.edu/dairy/articles/ValueCornSilage.pdf or http://www.extension.purdue.edu/dairy/articles/CornSilageValueCalculator2012.xls
Because yield varies widely based on moisture content, Johnson said moisture content will greatly affect pricing. More information is available in Johnson’s Web-based publication, “Drought-Damaged Corn as Livestock Feed” available for free at http://www.ansc.purdue.edu/beef/Hendrix/DroughtDamagedCorn.html
Before growers make any decisions about what to do with drought-damaged corn, Johnson said it is imperative that they check with crop insurance agents so the crop can be appraised for damage prior to harvest.
He also noted that herbicides and insecticides applied to the corn crop throughout the season have feeding restrictions. Growers need to pay close attention to herbicide and insecticide labels and be in touch with chemical suppliers to make sure the crop is harvested and fed safely.