Agriculture

July 21, 2012

Silage: Bovines think it's yummy

A seminar on producing silage took place Friday at the Dan Peterson Dairy west of Turlock. Silage is a valuable feed for dairy cows in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, one of the nation’s leading milk producers.

A seminar on producing silage took place Friday at the Dan Peterson Dairy west of Turlock.

Silage is a valuable feed for dairy cows in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, one of the nation’s leading milk producers.

It is made by compressing freshly harvested corn, stalks and all, in large piles covered with plastic sheeting or in plastic bags hundreds of feet long.

There, the feed ferments over a few weeks in an oxygen-deprived environment until it is ready to be rationed to cattle.

Corn is the main source of silage, but it also can be made from wheat, oats, alfalfa and other feed crops.

Silage grown in Stanislaus County was worth an estimated $107.6 million in 2010, according to the county agricultural commissioner. Merced County’s income was reported at $104.9 million, San Joaquin County’s at $59.8 million.

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