Mechanically processing silage corn to improve forage quality is more economical than increasing silage corn cutting height, according to a study by C. Alan Rotz, USDA-ARS ag engineer based in University Park, PA.

Rotz was studying how forage management affects farm profitability and environment. He compared silage corn cut without a processor at 6" to corn cut a foot higher. Although cutting higher improved forage quality, it caused a net annual loss of $12/cow.

Mechanical processing brought a slight quality improvement translating to about an assumed 2% milk production increase with improved net returns of about $42/cow.