December, 2000
Field Crops 28.5-28

The Relationship Between Corn Grain and Silage Yield

Joe Lauer, Corn Agronomist

The relationship between corn grain yield and silage yield is important for determining silage value (i.e. Loan Deficiency Payments). The current method for calculating this relationship first appeared in 1972. Much progress has been made in breeding adapted high yielding hybrids that are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses.

To describe the relationship between grain and silage yield, data were used where plots had been split with half of the plot harvested for silage yield and the other half harvested later for grain yield. Treatments applied to these plots included various plant density, planting date and row spacing factors. Numerous locations, hybrids and yield levels were obtained over the 1997 and 1998 growing seasons (n = 253).

The relationship between grain and silage yield for current hybrids is described in Figure 1. Grain equivalents at two silage moistures are shown. Current hybrids produce grain yield equivalents greater than that of 1972 levels, by 1.0 to 2.0 bushels of grain per ton of silage at 65% moisture.

Table 1. Approximate bushels of grain contained in a ton of corn silage during 1997 and 1998.

  Silage at 65% moisture Silage at 0% moisture
Grain yield Silage yield Grain equivalent per Ton of silage Silage yield Grain equivalent per Ton of silage

Bu/A

T/A

Bu/T

T/A

Bu/T

25

7.1

3.5

2.5

10.0

50

9.0

5.5

3.2

15.8

75

11.1

6.8

3.9

19.2

100

13.4

7.5

4.7

21.3

125

15.9

7.9

5.6

22.4

150

18.7

8.0

6.6

22.8

175

22.2

7.9

7.8

22.4


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