Ideas on Dry Corn Silage

  • Adjust for dry matter content in TMR rations (test forages often)
  • Provide adequate water supply (cows will drink more when the ration is dry), and consider adding water to the TMR if haylage is also dry (aim for a TMR around 50% dry matter)
  • Do a smell and visual check for mold in the silage
  • If herd production or health is impaired, check for mycotoxins
  • Emphasize that reducing storage losses depends on ensiling at the correct moisture, regardless of seasonal conditions
  • Suggest a check of silo integrity
  • Check silage for heat damage (ADF-N) and make ration adjustments if necessary
  • Provide high moisture or finely processed grains to improve energy availability
  • Recognize that when silage is dry, more grain will escape digestion and appear in manure; Check manure for grain load
  • Consider lowering the energy value of dry corn silage from the feed analysis if large amounts of grain are appearing in manure
  • Consider silage processing at the silo (temporary) or in the field (with any dry silage) to reduce corn escaping digestion
  • Process grain finely so that energy availability is ensured
  • Monitor dry matter intake, as dry silage may be moldy and reduce intake of the ration or TMR
  • Mycotoxins may reduce immune system function, so fortify the ratio with 0.5 to 0.75 kg of additional protein, and Vitamin E (an extra 500 to 1500 IU per cow per day, depending on base ration levels)

Last Reviewed: August 5, 2003


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: Beth Wheeler - Dairy Cattle Nutritionist/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 29 November 1998
Last Reviewed: 5 August 2003