Here are some suggestions for feeding green or immature corn silage:
1. Chop it high.
This will improve the overall energy in the silage by leaving out the woodiest, most fibrous part of the plant. Nitrates are also often concentrated in the bottom of the stalk and chopping it high will help eliminate them. Chop at about 26 inches above the ground.
2. Don’t free choice it.
The cows will tend to tank up on the green corn silage, if it’s fed free choice by itself. The sudden shift to a high sugar diet can cause the cows to get very gassy and create problems. Also, if there is a concentration of nitrates in the silage, they can get too high of a dose this way.
3. Feed buffers and yeast.
The unfermented feed has pH levels that may upset the rumen balance. Feed buffers and yeast to stabilize the rumen.
4. Let it ferment for 10 days, if possible.
The initial fermentation of the stalk and leaves in the silage can eliminate 2/3 of any existing nitrates and stabilize the pH of the silage.
5. Get a test and adjust for the digestible energy.
There will be a lot of variation in the silage this year. Get a test and adjust so that your starch & sugar in the diets remains consistent.
A final word: Be careful this year. There may be more silo gas produced this year-and it can be deadly.