New resource for maize and cereal growers

By Katherine Byrne, GippsDairy

Are you a farmer or contactor growing maize? Dairy Australia has recently launched a new pocket guide focusing on the harvesting and storage of maize and cereal crops.

Maize (sometimes called corn) is a summer silage crop with the potential to produce a large amount of high-energy, readily digestible forage. Maize silage is highly valued because it typically contains approximately 30% starch. Growing maize for silage is expensive and thus requires good management to achieve high yields of high-quality product to be economically viable.

Cereal silages are becoming a common option in many dairy regions of Australia, particularly as an alternative to annual ryegrass during the winter months. In some cases, it’s possible to achieve multiple grazings of a wheat, oat or barley crop during late autumn/winter, before a silage or hay crop is harvested in spring.

The Dairy Australia handbook focuses on the harvesting and storage of maize and cereal silage. Good agronomic management and decision making is critical when growing both maize and cereal silage, from paddock and hybrid selection, through to seeding, weed/ pest and fertiliser management.

These factors can vary significantly between regions and so it is highly recommended to work with your local agronomist to ensure that you reach the point of harvest having maximised the value of your investment in the crop to that point. This booklet provides practical tips and advice on the key aspects of harvesting and storage of maize and cereal silages.

Contents inside:

  • How do I know when to harvest my maize crop?
  • Maize whole crop dry matter measurement.
  • Management of the maize silage harvest period.
  • Harvest timing of cereal silage – two options.
  • Compaction of cereal silages at both stages of harvest.
  • Inoculants for Maize and Cereal silage.
  • Stack/Pit Management for Maize and Cereal silage.
  • Measuring density on the stack.
  • Sealing maize and cereal silages.

To get a copy of the handbook please contact GippsDairy on 5624 3900 or visit us in the office at 6 Endeavour Street, Warragul.

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