The start of corn silage harvest for 2018 is here. Most corn silage is harvested from late August through early November, when energy, fiber, and moisture are at their best, depending on planting date, hybrid variety, and growing conditions. A third to three-quarters of the feed consumed by more than 1.2 million dairy cows in WI comes from corn silage, and it’s not unusual to find corn silage as the only source of feed for many WI beef cattle. It’s a unique and important feed providing a significant source of energy and fiber for dairy and beef cattle across the state and nation.
In 2015, nearly a quarter of all four million acres of corn planted in WI were harvested as silage with an estimated market value between a quarter and a half billion dollars. However, like hay, there’s no established commodity market for corn silage like there is for corn or soybeans. Pricing standing corn silage is even more difficult than pricing standing hay, because the seller often has the option of letting the corn crop mature and marketing it for grain, but additional costs must be considered as well.
To help determine a fair price when buying or selling corn silage, UW-Extension agriculture agents Greg Blonde and Ryan Sterry teamed up with Smart mAPPS Consulting to develop a new free Android app that can quickly estimate the value of standing corn silage. It’s based off a detailed spreadsheet Sterry developed with input from several state Extension specialists (Shaver, Lauer, Linn). The app includes links to current corn and hay market prices and allows buyers and sellers to enter their own yield estimates and harvest costs. The difference in value of soil nutrients removed when harvesting silage versus corn for grain is also calculated helping sellers fine tune their standing value per acre. The app is free and available for Android smart phones and tablets at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smartmappsconsulting.cornsilagepricing&hl=en or just search the Google Play Store for “Corn Silage Pricing”.
According to Blonde and Sterry, “The Corn Silage Pricing mobile app not only allows farmers, Extension Educators, and other Ag professionals to access current market information for both grain and hay at the same time, it’s a convenient tool to determine the value of standing silage for buyers and sellers alike.” The app features separate tabs for buyer and seller calculations. Using both tabs will show the range in silage value, with the Seller tab being a price ‘floor” and the Buyer tab a price “ceiling”.
This is the third mobile app in as many years Blonde has helped developed through Smart mAPPS Consulting…“Pricing Standing Hay” and “Pricing Wet Corn” are also available at no cost on the Google Play Store. For more information contact Greg Blonde, 715-258-6230, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ryan Sterry, 715-531-1930, email@example.com.