2012 - Volume #BFS, Issue #12, Page #87[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story ]
This Forage Corn "Tillers" Like WheatPlant a seed of MasterGraze, and as it grows it’ll look like you planted half a dozen. The unique forage corn from Masters Choice Hybrids is the only known brown mid-rib variety (BMR) that tillers like wheat. It produces 75 percent of the bulk of a conventional corn silage varieity, but in only 60 days, which leaves plenty of time for multi-cropping. Like all BMR varieties, it’s low in lignin and high in digestibility.
“Our customers use it for haylage, baleage and grazing,” says Kristen Cameron, Masters Choice Hybrids. “It can produce up to 7 tons per acre with no special tillage. Even average soils will produce five tons an acre.”
MasterGraze can be planted from early spring until late fall, needing only 60 days of heat and soil temperatures above 55°. First introduced in Illinois, it’s now grown from Florida to North Dakota and west to California.
While balanced soil fertility is important, the forage corn requires only 1/2 to 2/3 the nutrients of a grain corn crop, including only 1 to 1 1/2 units of nitrogen per growing day before harvest. Population levels can vary from 25,000 to 40,000 seeds per acre.
The forage corn grows slowly for the first month and then rapidly the second. The company advises grazing when the corn nears tassel stage, with the crop providing high quality grazing for 4 to 5 weeks. If planted in early May, MastersGraze is ready for grazing in July/August. This “August slump” is when milk production and growth of pastured animals normally slows as grass production slows.
If harvested for haylage or baleage, dry matter is at its greatest as the first stalk in the plant mass begins to tassel. Waiting until after tassel stage increases the chance of lodging and reduces quality.
If harvested above the lowest growth point, tillers will regrow once; however, yield will be only 25 to 35 percent of the first crop. Interseeding a second forage crop in the MastersGraze stubble is suggested.
Seed is available as organic or treated and can be purchased from local dealers or direct from Masters Choice.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Masters Choice, 3010 State Rt. 146 E, Anna, Ill. 62906. (ph 866 444-1044; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.seedcorn.com).
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