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Corn for Grazing & Silage Production

Updated: May 25

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

Collaborating Producer: Pat & Jay Eaton, Valleyview (MD of Greenview)

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2013 Annual Report

Corn, being a warm-season annual grass, can be planted in parts of the Peace for corn silage or grazing. As an annual, it can be grazed successfully during the fall and winter to extend the grazing season, and thereby reducing feed cost per head per day. This is because using livestock to graze corn reduces the need for investing in harvest and feeding equipment. Sam King, a producer with years of experience grazing standing corn in the region averages 55 cents/cow/day at a yield of seven to eight tons DM/acre, while his brome aftermath feed costs him $1/cow/day. With the potential to produce more than 10 tons of forage dry matter to the acre, few annual crops can compare to corn in terms of dry-matter (DM) yield per acre and cost per pound of gain. Depending on the type of livestock used, producers may have to supplement to compensate for lower protein levels. The following report looks at corn production on 155 acres for grazing and silage.


There were three corn fields and all fields were near Valleyview at Pat and Jay Eaton’s ranch. One field was on Alder Ridge Road by RGE road 204 (50 acres, field 1). The other two fields were on RGE road 205 (35 acres (field 2) & 70 acres (field 3). Fields 1 & 2 had corn last year. The new addition this year was field 3.

Two corn varieties (BrettYoung corn Fusion RR and Pioneer corn 39F44) were seeded. Fusion RR has a corn heat unit requirement (CHU) of 2350, while 39F44 requires 2000 heat units to get to full grain maturity. The CHUs rating is an indicator of how many heat units are required for the grain to reach maturity. On average, 200 fewer CHUs are required for grazing or silage corn to reach 65 per cent whole plant moisture (35 per cent dry matter) as compared to grain corn. This moisture level is normally when silage corn is ready to harvest. Fields 1 & 2 were seeded on May 16, and field 3 was seeded on May 15. Seeding was done with an Air Seeder at 12-inch row spacing.

Fertility was 150 lbs/acre blend consisting of 75% 46-0-0 + 25% 11-51-0 (field 1), 65 lbs/acre blend consisting of 75% 46-0-0 + 25% 11-51-0 (field 2) & 250 lbs/acre blend consisting of 75% 46-0-0 + 25% 11-51-0 (field 3).