silage facts

Asked September 26, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT

Hi. I am reading a Peace Corps manual and would like to know if the following is correct: Frequently farmers are confronted with making a choice between corn or sorghum silage and grass silage. Under these circumstances, the following facts are pertinent: • Where adapted, corn or sorghum will generally produce a greater tonnage of feed per acre than grass silage. • Good quality corn or sorghum silage can be made more consistently and with greater ease than good quality grass silage. • Corn or sorghum silage is generally more palatable than grass silage, even when the latter is carefully preserved. • Grass silage is generally higher in protein and carotene but lower in total digestible nutrients (TDN) than corn or sorghum silage (generally, grass silage contains about 90 per cent as much TDN as corn silage, but it will equal corn silage in TDN where 150 pounds of grain per ton have been added as a preservative). Thus, grass silage generally requires the addition to the ration of less protein supplement but more total concentrates than corn or sorghum silage. This would indicate that corn or sorghum silage would be slightly preferable to grass silage in high roughage finishing rations for beef cattle and sheep, whereas grass silage would be preferable in high roughage rations for dairy animals and young beef cattle and sheep. • Grass silage is higher in carotene content but lower in vitamin D, unless made by the wilting process, than corn or sorghum silage. • Grass silage can be produced in those areas where the climate is too cool and the growing season too short for corn or sorghum silage. • The production of grass silage will result in less soil washing than the production of corn or sorghum silage on lands subject to erosion.

1 Response

Yes this is correct. However another important factor to consider is cost for seed and for fertilizer. Corn and sorghum seed costs more and the fertilizer requirements are higher. One needs to look at the entire cost/benefit analysis to determine feasibility/desirability.