To collect data, the plants were processed through a chipper/shredder inoculated with a silage fermentation additive, mixed and packed in 5-gallon mini-silo buckets. The buckets were then sealed with an air tight lid, weighed, and placed in storage.
Casper explained that these mini-silos will be weighed after 90 days of storage to calculate dry matter losses during ensiling and then opened with samples taken for nutrient composition and measurements of dry matter, fiber, and starch digestibilities.
The data will be made available to both seed corn companies and corn growers to improve their hybrid selection to produce high tonnage and high quality corn silage and reduce the cost of producing milk and meat in South Dakota. Corn silage is a very valuable end-use for corn grown in the state.