Cultivation, milling and feed production
Calculate seeed needs
Plan for your Leafy to yield at least as many tons per acre as any hybrid that you’ve planted in the past. Calculate your seed needs based on a seeding rate of 28,000 - 30,000 ppa.
Choose your hybrid
Great, you’ve decided to plant a Leafy! Choose the best one for your dairy by knowing your maturity zone and which traits you need (if any). Floury Leafi es off er all of the features of a regular Leafy with the addition of more digestible starch, however, they’re available with fewer traits.
Plant at 28,000-30,000 ppa and never mix with a non-Leafy in the fi eld. Other hybrid types require higher hi populations, have shorter harvest windows and will produce vitreous kernels that require a longer ensiling period. Always plant diff erent hybrid types in separate blocks.
Select the field
Leafi es perform best when planted on well-drained, nutrient-dense soils in a crop rotation. They do not require your best soils, but will reward you if they are provided.
Isolate a floury leafy
Plan to plant a Floury Leafy separately from a Leafy and all other Corn Silage Hybrids in order to get the full 25% expression of its fl oury kernel type. Pollen from other hybrids will suppress the expression of the fl oury kernel type. Note: pollen from the Floury Leafy will not make fl oury kernels in any other hybrid. We recommend 300 feet to the nearest non-Floury Leafy corn fi eld.
Leafi es generally contain a higher quantity of sugars in the stalk and leaves at harvest. These sugars improve ensiling speed and quality. Starch fractures easily into small particles during harvest and cow chewing, so new crop silage can be fed as soon as fermentation is complete!
Once your Leafy reaches 50% milk line and 65% plant moisture, it’s time to chop. If using a kernel processor, ease off . A Leafy’s kernels are designed to break and it is essential to retain eff ective fiber for rumen function. Monitor kernels during chopping and fi nd the balance. Making shredlage is an excellent option as well. Apply the inoculate of your choice.
Leafy silage is versatile and can be balanced in various ration types. Expect your Leafy to have 5-7% more starch digestibility and your Floury Leafy to have 10-12% more starch digestibility than a dual purpose hybrid. When moving a herd from a conventional or a BMR to a Leafy or Floury Leafy, reduce concentrate corn and slowly increase as required. Eliminate straw. Watch your herd and adjust the rations as needed.