The relationship between grain content and silage yield is important for determining the value of silage. The government uses this ratio to calculate federal loan deficiency payments (LDPs).  Since the formula for determining the corn:silage ratio was developed in 1972, tremendous strides have been made in the breeding of high-yielding corn hybrids that are adapted for silage production.  University of Wisconsin forage researcher Joe Lauer says the result is a corn crop that produces a higher proportion of grain in corn silage compared to the 1970s.

Using retrospective data and new-crop silage, Lauer concluded that current hybrids produce grain yield equivalents greater than that of 1972 levels, by 1.0 to 2.0 bushels of grain per ton of silage at 65% moisture.  The upshot: producers should routinely measure grain yield in their silage, to ensure that they are accurately compensated with their LDPs.