Dairy Cow

Dairy Management Tip for the Month - July 2021

Corn Silage Harvest Practices Impact Milk Production

  • Moisture of the corn plant determines time to harvest.  Harvest at 62-65% moisture (35-38% DM) (Choppers without kernel processors should be harvested a little wetter– 32-35% DM to allow breakage of corn kernels.)
  • Healthy corn plants dry down 0.5-1.0%/day.
  • Corn is generally harvested 40-45 days post-tasseling.
  • Adjust rollers on kernel processors so that no more than 2 or 3 half or whole kernels of corn (cob in 8 pieces) are found in a chopped sample contained in a 32 oz. cup.  Spacing between rollers should be such that a dime will not fit between the rollers.
  • For bunkers and piles, pack the chopped silage with a tractor weighing 800 times the number of wet tons delivered per hour at a speed of 1.5-2.5 mph.
  • Cover top of uprights, piles, and bunkers with plastic.  For bunkers, line bunker sides with plastic with extra plastic overlapping the walls.  Once filled, use the extra plastic to cover part of the top closest to the walls to prevent water seeping under the top cover of plastic and causing spoilage.


June 2021 Tip of the Month:  Review Heat Stress Abatement for Milking and Dry Cows

  1. Fans in eating and resting areas and in the holding pen should come on automatically when temperatures are greater than 65° F.  Sprinklers or soakers should be placed on a timer and run for approx. 2 minutes and off for 10-12 minutes with fans running continuously when temps are greater than 68° F.  Soaker time should increase with increasing temperatures.
  2. Ensure adequate amounts of cool, clean water are available at all times.  Don’t forget water for those baby calves!
  3. Remember to provide heat abatement to dry cows as heat stress reduces her future milk production, calf survivability, and production of her calf.