“But if growers are proactive, they may be able to harvest the field as silage instead of grain because many of these fields won’t have a lot of value as grain. Growers can get more value from their harvest from corn silage and then can find a way to adapt to feed it to cattle.”
Growers who haven’t done a lot of corn silage in the past, or who don’t have silos, can still take advantage of the option by using the bagging system for fermenting corn silage, Smith said. The bagging system, where feed is forced into the bag and sealed to allow the corn to ferment, can be put on any vacant area.
“We’ve known people who have stored this silage for as long as two years before they’ve fed it,” he said.
Other options include annual forages, such as oats and rye as an alternative, Grimes said.
“There’s been a lot of work done by OSU Extension with oats and rye as annual forages we can plant to get supplemental feed for the winter months,” he said. “And there's always the old standby practice of putting nitrogen on forages in late summer and early fall to get some extra grass growth going into the winter.
“Those are time-tested things we can do to add feed to any operation.”