Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – Selecting a silage corn hybrid seed that meets all of your farm’s needs can be a daunting task.
Kassi Rinas is a Proprietary Representative for Nutrien Ag Solutions in Northern Alberta.
She says it is really important to assess the corn heat units, while taking time to consider your end-use intention.
This is where farmers need to ask themselves a number of questions.
“Do you plan to silage it? Do you plan to graze it? Do you plan for grain corn?” These are just some of the questions Rinas wants you to ask yourself.
Rinas says you should also think about fertility and weed control.
“Corn is a high user of fertility, especially nitrogen, and I think it’s really important to look at your crop nutrient requirements and make a good plan on how you’re going to fertilize this corn.”
Similarly, farmers really have to be on their weed control timing.
She says every year, her growers struggle with hitting optimal silage timing, which happens at 65 per cent moisture content.
“That’s when your nutritional value is the highest of that corn feed.”
However, Rinas says it’s hard to hit.
“Things happen around the farm, many growers are waiting for a custom chopper to come and harvest it for them. They’re busy working cattle on the farm, or they’re busy taking off their other crops, and sometimes we just missed that 65 per cent silage timing.”
Rinas says you need to have silage that is going to stay greener for longer, meaning it’s going to dry down slower, extending that optimal silage time window.
“You’re going to have more nutritious feed for longer, that’s the goal of it to maintain our nutritional quality.”
She adds you want to make sure it has good early season vigour.
“Where we are, it’s cold. We have a cooler climate here, and growers are trying to put it in as early as they can. Early as they can usually equate to cold soils. So make sure you have good vigour on that hybrid if you want it to come up successfully.”
Finally, she says it is essential that it has strong standability and root strength.
Rinas says the key is to sit down and figure out what is important on your farm prior to selecting your seed.