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Corn Silage Performance in New York and New England

 

Corn Silage Performance in New York and New England

Objectives

  • Investigate diversity of weather during the 2012, 2013, and 2014 growing seasons.
  • Attempt to understand the influence of weather on silage yield and quality (NDFd, starch %, yield, and milk/ton).

Study Description

Locations: 48 Silage Product Knowledge Plots (PKP) in N.Y., N.H., Vt., Mass., Conn. and Maine.
Plot Layout:   Field-length strips (minimum 4 rows wide, 350 feet long)
Products: 10 Pioneer® brand corn silage products at each location
 

Weather data from the DuPont Pioneer EnClass® system.

Map: Corn silage Product Knowledge Plot (PKP) locations in New York and New England
Corn silage Product Knowledge Plot (PKP) locations in New York and
New England, 2012-2014.
 

Results

  • Weather data from PKP locations demonstrate a clear reduction of GDUs and precipitation in 2013 and 2014 compared to 2012, while solar radiation increased in 2014 compared to 2013.
Figure 1. GDU deviation from 10-year average.
Chart: GDU deviation from 10-year average.
 
Figure 2. Solar radiation (MJ/m²) deviation from 10-year average.
Chart: Solar radiation (MJ/m2) deviation from 10-year average.
 
Figure 3. Precipitation (inches) deviation from 10-year average.
Chart: Precipitation (inches) deviation from 10-year average.
 
Figure 4. Total precipitation (inches).
Chart: Total precipitation (inches).
 
  • Decreased rainfall, along with more sunlight (solar radiation), appeared to have a positive effect on tonnage, while negatively affecting starch levels in 2014 compared to 2013.
Table 1. Corn silage quality trait values averaged over 48 locations and 3 years, 2012 to 2014.
 Trait  2014   2013  2012  
Tons/Acre (35% DM) 23.3 21.5 23.4
% Starch 34.6 39.3 36.6
%NDFd 46.0 46.5 49.0
Lbs. Milk/Ton 3,425 3,599 3,625
Planting Rate 35,400 36,700 33,800
 
  • Environmental conditions during vegetative growth resulted in taller plants, and a higher proportion of tonnage coming from the green portion of the plant. This likely decreased the grain-to-stover ratio, lowering overall starch percentages even in a year with high grain yields.
  • Weather data show that solar radiation was up and rainfall was down slightly in 2014 compared to 2013. It is likely that the lower NDFd in 2014 was due to rainfall and associated reduction in solar radiation being concentrated in the vegetative phase of development.
Figure 5. NDFd and starch percentages among selected silage hybrids,
2012 to 2014.
Chart: NDFd and starch percentages among selected silage hybrids, 2012 to 2014.
 
  • Some areas experienced slightly higher NDFd levels in 2014, but lower starch levels seemed to be consistent across the study area in New York and New England.
  • It is noteworthy that NDFd values were greater in 2012 compared to 2013 and 2014. This can likely be attributed to lower total precipitation in 2012, which typically results in higher NDFd.

 
2012-14 data are based on average of all comparisons made in 48 locations. Multi-year and multi-location is a better predictor of future performance. Do not use these or any other data from a limited number of trials as a significant factor in product selection. Product responses are variable and subject to a variety of environmental, disease, and pest pressures. Individual results may vary.

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