Dairy-producer clients are telling custom operators that shredlage, which shreds silage corn longitudinally at 26- to 30-millimeter lengths, is how they want their crop harvested.
Better Processing Needed
"We are all getting a failing grade on processing across the board,” said Jon Orr to fellow silage choppers at the USCHI convention after hearing that only 10-17% of samples rated “excellent.” Orr, of Orrson Custom Farming, Apple Creek, OH, is also vice president of the organization.
“We’re professional silage harvesters here; we should be in that excellent category with every sample we send in,” he added.
Just weeks after that meeting, however, one of those labs released 2012 and 2013 data. It showed that, since Shredlage came on the scene, more silage samples had been submitted and a greater number of KP scores moved into the “excellent” or “optimum” range.
Those increases reflect a change in attitude toward corn silage and kernel processing, Shaver suggests. “They’ve got everyone’s attention, and so everyone is trying to improve” the way they’re processing the crop.
At least 36% of 2013 silage samples analyzed at Cumberland Valley Analytical Services (CVAS) labs had KP scores in the optimum range. More than 51.1% earned adequate KP scores and just fewer than 13% showed poor scores, according to Ralph Ward, CVAS owner. Some samples represented Shredlage-processed silage.
“That would suggest that more were shifting from poor (KP scores) up and more were shifting from average to optimum,” Shaver says. “We don’t know if that trend will continue, but it looks like this whole (kernel processing) discussion, and other equipment manufacturers changing what they are doing with new prototypes and roll speeds, is moving toward improvement.” (See story, “Chopper Manufacturers Respond To Shredlage.”)