Intercropping European climbing beans with corn can increase corn silage protein levels, say University of Wisconsin researchers.

Three climbing bean species (lablab, velvet bean and scarlet runner bean) were planted into standing corn. The beans were planted 6” from the corn rows two to four weeks after corn planting.

Intercropping the beans had no impact on silage yield, which aver-aged 8.8 tons of dry matter per acre. But all three beans increased silage protein content, with lablab beans having the biggest impact. Corn-lablab mixtures tested 7.4% crude protein vs. 6.5% for corn alone.