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Producers with significant volumes of poor quality grass sitting in silage clamps could consider supercharging the energy of their maize even further, says Grainseed's... Cut higher to boost energy

Producers with a significant volumes of poor quality grass sitting in silage clamps could consider supercharging the energy of their maize even further, says Grainseed’s Neil Groom.

“Maize crops are very tall in many areas this year and this should provide a lot of forage, but if you’re short on energy from grass, then upping the energy density of your maize could be advantageous.

“If you’re harvesting maize into October and beyond, you can do this simply by cutting the maize a little higher to reduce the proportion of stalk taken and boost the energy and starch content accordingly.” 

Cutting at 50cm high instead of 20cm can increase both maize silage drymatter and starch content by 2%, according to the Maize Growers Association.

“Trials showed an overall improvement to digestibility equivalent to plus 0.3 on the metabolisable energy since the bottom of the stems, which have more lignin and lower digestibility, are left in the field,” says Mr Groom.

“Overall maize forage yield is reduced, but if total forage volume isn’t an issue – and quality is – it’s definitely worth considering.

“With many grass silages lower in overall energy this season due to lower sunlight, producing a more energy dense maize component in this way could be extremely valuable.”

For more on post-harvest, read “Tight end stocks for wheat and barley”