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Shredlage: All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Shredlage is corn silage that is processed in such a way that increases feed efficiency and digestability. Using a special processing roll, the silage is chopped and shred into 26 to 30 mm lengths, significantly longer than the standard silage length of 19 mm. This method of processing increases the amount of physically-effective fiber (peNDF), allowing producers to reduce the amount of straw, hay, or haylage fed with no negative impact on milk production.

Since adding Shredlage to their rations, Darren Dias has seen improvements in his 2,000-head dairy herd’s production and components. In addition to a 2 pound per cow increase in production, the California dairyman saw a reduction in feed costs – the dairy now purchases two fewer loads of rolled corn a month for a savings of $132,000 annually!

While Shredlage has been a hot topic in the dairy industry, producers have had mixed opinions about the new corn silage harvesting technology. While Shredlage supporters admit that the full benefits will not be known until additional trials and research are completed, forage consultants agree that the individual producer’s management practices will determine how effective the new processing method will be.

Sources:

Merlo, Catherine. “Is Shredlage Right For You?Dairy Today 5 May 2014.
Holin, Fae. “Shredlage Stirs Up Forage Industry.” Hay & Forage Grower 23 April 2014.

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