Water and Soil Management Are Top of Mind During Silage Harvest

P1040987The last few weeks at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, we’ve been busy harvesting corn silage test plots and performing corn silage yield checks. Plot results provide another tool to help a grower and a nutritionist make more educated decisions about which products work best. That’s why we like to take our data and turn it into usable information that helps our customers choose the products best suited for their situations. We pair forage quality results from the lab with field tonnage results to derive an index referred to as milk per ton or milk per acre to provide a more standardized result.

Many variables contribute to forage quality. The most critical variables are weather related, which also happen to be most uncontrollable. Fertility, planting date, soil conditions, and herbicide programs – all which tend to be more controllable – also factor into overall forage quality. Through research and discovery, we strive to identify and understand such variables and develop methods to reduce as many of these as possible.

P1050004Latham strives to make its research as uniform as possible to gain reliable information, which more accurately reflects performance associated with plant genetics. We can also equip growers with tools to help them develop their own on-farm testing system. Latham’s hallmark Seed-to-Soil® program can help uncover more about the interactions of plant genetics, soil types and weather on your own farm.

We all know what a difference moisture levels can make to a growing crop. After a few consecutive seasons of untimely moisture events, water and soil moisture management is top of mind. It’s important to take care of our soils, building organic matter and continually creating a healthy biology.

Develop plans to restore and rehab soils on your farms to increase the soil’s water-holding and nutrient-holding capacity. Then when we get rain, the soil acts more like a sponge that quickly absorbs water and maintains it in the root zone rather than allowing the water to move through soil, or worse, running off into waterways and taking valuable nutrients with it.

Stay tuned for further discussions on water and soil moisture management. In the meantime, this fall you can reflect on rehabilitating your soil by seeding a field or two into winter rye, winter wheat and winter triticale. You could even mix in some tillage radish.

Start out small this year and experiment by seeding one half of a field into a previous mentioned small grain, and manage the other half as you normally would. Begin the process of discovery a new horizon of yield from your acres!