Ways to Increase Forage Production
Apr 24, 2023
With the dry summers we have had in recent years it seems that hay production in my area has been a growing concern for growers with livestock to feed. Last summer was a very good example of a year where first cutting hay was good but after that production fell off sharply and there were concerns on having enough feed. There was a lot of corn chopped for silage in my area last summer and that is a practice that is starting to gain in popularity over the past 5 years. Corn silage is a great way to get a lot of feed off of a small amount of acres and it produces a high quality feed when it is managed properly. One of the downfalls of corn silage is that it can be costly to produce and on a very dry year corn requires a lot of water to produce high tonnage and in some years that can be a big limiting factor. Some products that are gaining some interest for silage and wet baling are forage sorghum and sorghum-sudangrass. Each of these products take much less water to grow in the summer and can lower fertilizer and seed costs as much as $90/acre while still producing a high quality feed comparable to corn silage. If you have questions on forages contact your local SFG agronomist.