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Senior Advisor

Corn as Double Crop Forage

Not sure if this is a cattle question or a crop question, but I think the crops section has more traffic so here it is.  I'm all but 100% sure I'm done attempting to produce corn for grain in this area, I think it is just to hot.  That being said, I've got about 250# of seed left over from this springs planting, what would happen if I double cropped it following wheat next summer for no other reason than to get some bales from it?  If I get it planted by late June or early July, that would still give me about 90 days to average frost.  Would corn as forage be worth trying or should I just scrap the whole idea.  I've already got the seed and was wondering how I could put it to use without just wasting it.  Any other thoughts?

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9 Replies
Advisor

Re: Corn as Double Crop Forage

Should work. It may start wilting earlier in a dry spell than early corn. May have to harvest earlier... But free is free.

Grain yield is important to overall digestibility of corn silage.

You may be able to sell your seed to someone in the interim if you only tried
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Senior Advisor

Re: Corn as Double Crop Forage

Don't think I would have any luck selling it, nobody near me tries producing corn, I guess I know why now, it's just to hot in this area.  I won't be chopping this as silage, I'll run it through a swather and bale it.  The corn I've baled the last couple of years has made some decent feed stock so I was just kind of thinking outside the box.  Just an idea, I'll ask a few other cattle guys around me and see what they think.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Corn as Double Crop Forage

I've done it over here for chopping Shaggy. Actually the 1st time was sort of by accident. Ran out of sorghum seed and stuck corn in the last few acres to finish the field using a grain drill. What is your killing frost date on avg? Seems like your wheat comes off a little earlier than mine too. I'm in the field after the 1st of July. Usually more like the 5th when I start the combine. If you have 90 days of growth, I'd say use your seed up. it's only what, 20 acres at your populations?
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Senior Contributor

Re: Corn as Double Crop Forage

My only concern would be baling weather in that time of year. Could wrap it though and make baleage
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Senior Contributor

Re: Corn as Double Crop Forage

Same story as LC around here. I know we couldn't get it baled. We used to double crop silage after barley, wich is ready at least a couple weeks earlier than wheat.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Corn as Double Crop Forage

Shaggy,

 

Late planted corn has a terrible time getting roots down to water here in Illinois and given the lack of summer rainfall in Kansas, I think you would need to get lucky with some midsummer rains for it to amount to anything even for fodder. We also have to worry about high nitrates in drought baled corn here.

 

Seen some studies out of South Dakota, I believe, planting 10k pops in skip rows averaging near 100 bpa over a few years dryland. Seemed like a good idea if input costs were low enough. If you generally get nice healthy plants and decent size ears on plants which are isolated or have little competition such as end rows or field entrances, it might work for you. Just a thought.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Corn as Double Crop Forage

Thanks for the input guys, I'm not interested in skip rowing for grain production, I'm a firm believer that this area is just to hot for quality dryland corn production. I could probably have it planted by late June or early July if we've got any subsoil moisture at all. As far as the baleing is concerned, we bale just almost 12 months out of the year here. 2 years ago we were putting up milo stover bales in January. Can't remember what our average frost date is, but I would bet it would me mid to late October. Just something to ponder I guess.
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Corn as Double Crop Forage

Not sure the acreage your looking at but maybe mix it in with some forage sorghum or sorghum Sudan?
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Senior Advisor

Re: Corn as Double Crop Forage

Small acreage 58, less than 100.  I thought about mixing it with sudan grass, tillage radishes and forage peas, but Im not sure how I would keep the seed blended evenly.  Quite a variance in seed size.  I considered doing this and then let it winterkill after haying rather than chemically killing later.

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