An online calculator that can help determine the price of corn silage is available in Purdue Extension’s new publication, Determining A Value For Corn Silage (AS-611-W).

"Corn silage prices depend on the price of grain, and there can be a huge variation in prices," says Tamilee Nennich, Purdue Extension dairy cattle nutrition specialist and an author of the publication.

The Corn Silage Crop Calculator, a Microsoft Excel-based program, comes in two parts. One part calculates silage price based on silage yield from the field. The other calculates silage price based on corn grain price. Either can be used to arrive at a price for corn silage.

Producers need to enter the corn price per bushel; silage yield per acre or estimated grain yield; percent of corn silage dry matter; harvest, hauling and storage cost; and the estimated amount of shrinkage during storage. The results appear as cost of corn silage value per ton and the final cost of silage to producer.

"There are default values built into the calculator, or a silage producer can adjust the values according to what they save in harvesting, drying and storage costs," Nennich says. Dairy producers can make adjustments on what their cost would be to haul and harvest the corn silage themselves, so that they can see how that affects the final silage price at feeding.

Nennich hopes silage producers and their dairy producer customers do the calculations together. "It can help them arrive at a mutual agreement for corn silage," she says.

Determining a Value for Corn Silage is co-authored by Kern Hendrix, a retired Purdue Extension cattle specialist. The publication is part of a series of five new dairy management publications written or co-written by Nennich – all free for download. Others include:

Feeding Distillers Grain To Young Dairy Heifers (AS-609-W)

Supplementing Young Grazing Dairy Heifers With Lick Tubs: A Case Study (AS-610-W)

Forages And Feeding Dairy Cattle During Drought Conditions (AS-616-W)

Drought and Nutrient Management Considerations for Dairy Farms (AS-617-W)