Optimizing utilization of corn silage nutrients through improved harvest

M. J. Vassallo, D. R. Buckmaster, A. J. Heinrichs, G. I. Zanton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A corn silage-shredding harvester was modified to improve crop throughput. A new spout was constructed and several components were added throughout the harvester. A com field was harvested using the shredding harvester and a corn chopper. Three treatments of corn silage were collected: shredded (SCS), 0.008 m (0.313 in) theoretical length of cut (TLC) chopped (CCS), and 0.019 m (0.750 in) TLC chopped with roll processing (CPS). A nine-week feeding trial was conducted with six lactating dairy cattle. Some of the results compared SCS to CCS or CPS; other comparisons were made with CCS and CPS combined (BCS). The results of the experiment show that DMI of SCS and BCS was indifferent (p < 0.05). Chewing time for cows consuming SCS increased almost 5% and long particle consumption increased 485% over BCS (p < 0.05). The variance for rumen pH was lower with SCS, but not significantly lower than the rumen pH variance for the CCS or CPS rations (p < 0.05). Finally, there was no significant difference between milk fat and protein levels for the different treatments (p < 0.05). Consequently, SCS allowed cows to eat greater amounts of long particles and increase chewing activity without sacrificing DMI, milk production, or milk quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2005
Event2005 ASAE Annual International Meeting - Tampa, FL, United States
Duration: Jul 17 2005Jul 20 2005


Other2005 ASAE Annual International Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityTampa, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Bioengineering

Cite this