So, how do you bring down the grain accumulation and grow a corn crop ideal for grazing? Here are some tips.
Overshoot the heat units. Odd as it sounds, your goal is to intentionally delay crop maturity. Your local UFA CAM will be able to help identify the CHU for your area. Next, go to your product guide and look for a hybrid with a corn heat unit (CHU) rating that’s 400 points above that. This almost guarantees that overall grain and starch content will be lower because the plants won’t have enough heat units to reach maturity and accumulate too much grain by the time you send cows in to graze.
Boost seeding rate. More plants per square foot does two things. First, it aids in weed control. Second, and more importantly, a higher seeding rate leads to thinner corn stalks, which are easier for cows to eat, and delays maturity. How much to boost your seeding rate by is somewhat hybrid dependent: Shoot for a rate about 10 per cent higher than you'd use with a silage hybrid, and 20 to 25 per cent higher than you’d use with grain corn.