2022 Ohio-Michigan Silage Test

Richard Minyo, CFAES – Dept. of Horticulture & Crop Science, M.A. Lowe, FAES Research Operations
Micalah Blohm & Bill Widdicombe, Dept. of Plant, Soil and Microbial Science, Michigan State University

In 2022, we conducted a joint trial with Michigan State University (MSU) adding one Ohio silage location to Michigan's two southern (Zone 1) silage locations. The Ohio test site was located in our Northwest Region at Hoytville (Wood County) The two MSU sites are located in Branch and Lenawee counties which are on the Ohio/Michigan state line. The test results from the three locations are treated as one region. The plots were planted with 4 row air type planters and maintained by each respective state utilizing standard production practices. The center 2 rows were harvested with MSU's self propelled forage harvester. Silage tests were harvested uniformly as close to half milk line as possible. Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) Quality Analysis was performed by MSU using their current procedures. Silage results present the percent dry matter of each hybrid plus green weight and dry weight as tons per acre. Other data presented include percent stand, the percentage of in vitro digestible dry matter, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, crude protein and starch. Milk production in pounds per ton and pounds per acre are estimated using MILK2006. More information on procedures and additional 2022 MSU test data can be viewed on the web at http://varietytrials.msu.edu/corn.


Zones 1 and zone 2/3 were divided into two maturity groups designated early and late on the basis of the relative maturity (RM) submitted by the companies with results listed in separate tables. In cooperation with The Ohio State University, the Wood County, OH location is planted and managed by OSU while MSU handles harvest, quality and data analysis. A New Holland T6.175 tractor powered a two-row Champion C1200 Kemper forage harvester and a rear mounted Haldrup M-63 Weigh system to harvest the two center rows. Electronic scales mounted on the Haldrup M-63 weigh system measured plot and subsample weights. All field data was recorded on a Panasonic FZG1 Toughpad using Harvest Master™ software. Total plot weight was used to calculate green tons per acre (GT/A). Sub samples of fodder including grain were collected, weighed, oven dried in a WRH586-500 Greives forced air dryer until weight loss was zero, then re-weighed to determine the percent dry matter (%DM). Dry tons per acre (DT/A) is calculated mathematically by multiplying GT/A by %DM. The samples were ground using a Cristy mill fitted with a 1mm screen before conducting quality analysis using Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to predict quality components.

Corn Silage Information 2022

SOIL TEST (pH,P,K) M-3 ppm 7.3, 98, 104 6.6, 160, 166
PLANTING / HARVESTING DATES May 24/Sept. 16 June 1/Sept. 19 Heavy rains / flooding after planting - site discarded
STAND 100% / AVERAGE 33,264 / NA 33,264 / NA
FERTILIZER (N,P,K) 199-8-2 167-7-2

Silage Analysis

All silage tables provide quality data as determined by Near-infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) analysis on freshly dried & ground samples. Data is provided for individual locations and also averaged over multiple locations. Near infrared spectral analysis involves irradiating the sample with light in the near infrared spectrum (1,100 to 2,500 nm). The illuminated sample absorbs light proportional to specific chemical and physical properties. The reflected energy is measured and correlated statistically with the NIRS Consortiums calibration equation established for silage quality levels. Results of the six quality traits analyzed are presented in the quality tables. The six quality traits are:

  • IVD= (in vitro) digestible dry matter. IVD is a measure of forage digestibility. Higher IVD is desirable.
  • ADF=acid detergent fiber. Acid detergent fiber represents the less digestible portion of the corn forage, containing cellulose, lignin and heat damaged protein. ADF is closely related to the digestibility of forages. Lower ADF implies the forage is more digestible. More mature plant material will contain higher ADF concentrations. A low concentration of ADF is desirable.
  • NDF=neutral detergent fiber. This is a measure of the fiber content of the corn forage. It is less digestible than non-fiber constituents of the forage. Forages with high NDF levels have lower energy. NDF is also a measure of potential forage intake. High NDF levels decrease the potential forage intake. Low NDF content is desirable.
  • NDFD=neutral detergent fiber digestibility. The portion of neutral detergent fiber digested by animals at a specified level of feed intake. High NDFD is desirable.
  • CP=crude protein. Forages are generally supplemented with high protein concentrates such as soybean meal to increase the protein content of ruminant diets. Corn hybrids with high protein levels require less supplementation and therefore result in lower feed costs. High protein content is desirable.
  • STRCH=starch. Starch from the grain, along with the digestible component of the fiber, accounts for the majority of the energy in corn silage.

Silage quality traits are reported on a dry matter basis (100 percent DM). Quality traits in these tables are intended for use in hybrid selection only. Analysis for the balancing of feed rations should be analyzed from hybrids grown on each individual farm.


An updated calculation using the MILK2006 equation (UW-Madison Dairy Science Department) was used to estimates MK/T (milk per ton) and MK/A (milk per acre). MILK2006 estimates the dry matter intake using the NDF and CWD (cell wall digestibility) parameters of the sample. The updated equation utilizes CP, fat, and sugar as well as the organic acid fractions along with their total-tract digestibility coefficients to estimate energy. Whole plant dry matter was calculated to 34% for all hybrids and digestibility coefficients used for the fat and sugars as well as the organic acid fractions were held constant. MILK2006 also assumes the weight of the cow is 1,350 lbs. and that it consumes a 30 percent NDF diet. Using National Research Council (NRC, 2001) energy requirements, the estimated intake of energy from corn silage is converted to milk per ton. Milk per acre is then calculated using the estimated values for milk per ton and dry matter yield per acre. For more information on the utility of MILK2006 please see: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/crops/uwforage/dec_soft.htm