Silage and haylage facing new economic realities
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Silage and Haylage: facing new economic realities. Stan Smith Fairfield County, OSU Extension. Disclaimer . . . Considering the way we’ve done it for decades, some of this may seem extreme . . . Questions / Concerns ??? No problem, I’m from the government and I’m here to help!. Background.

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Silage and haylage facing new economic realities
Silage and Haylage:facing new economic realities

Stan Smith

Fairfield County, OSU Extension


Disclaimer
Disclaimer . . .

Considering the way we’ve done it for decades, some of this may seem extreme . . .

Questions / Concerns ???

No problem, I’m from the government and I’m here to help!


Background
Background

The rules of the game have changed . . .

  • For years, hay and forage production has been consistent . . . In most cases yielding 2 to 4 tons of average quality forage per acre.

  • During the same time, corn and other row crop production has increased nearly two fold.

  • The result: costs of traditionalforage production per unit of nutrient have increased significantly more than corn!


The response
The response . . .

Option #1 (you’ve seen this guy before!)

the same old, same old ! ! !


Option 2 the opportunity
Option #2, The opportunity . . .

When evaluating ‘whole farm’ profitability, shall we consider a totally new (?) concept . . . a THREE crop (plus one?) rotation . . .

Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat (plus a second crop of . . . forage ? ? ?)


Avg hay yield by county ton acre
Avg. Hay Yield by County(ton / acre)

20052006 2 yr. ave.

Athens 2.34 2.15 2.245

Fairfield 3.51 2.89 3.200

Highland 2.87 2.60 2.735

Knox 3.23 2.95 3.090

Average 2.99 2.65 2.817

Ohio’s average hay yield was 2.93 tons/ac in 05-06

@ 10% moisture, that’s 2.64 tons/ac dry matter


Avg corn yield by county bu acre
Avg. Corn Yield by County(bu / acre)

20052006 2 yr. ave.

Athens 119 155 137

Fairfield 108 166 137

Highland 137 154 146

Knox 145 161 153

Average 127 159 143

Ohio’s average corn yield was 151 bu/ac in 05-06

harvested as corn silage = 7.35 tons/ac dry matter


Result
Result . . .

With high yielding, high valued crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat competing for every acre, we need to take a hard look at land use and least cost feed nutrient production, and harvest and storagealternatives for our individual operations!


Hay versus corn budget osu extension crop budget spreadsheets
Hay versus Corn BudgetOSU Extension, Crop Budget spreadsheets

2.8 tons @ $80 returns

negative

$53.18 per ac. to L & M ($100/ac rent)

143 bu corn @ $4.90 returns $240.32 per ac. to L & M ($100 /ac. rent)


Hay versus corn
Hay versus Corn

Using the OSU Budgets

Hay . . . 2.8 tons, or 2.5 tons dry matter

Total cost of production = $330.56

$0.066 per pound of dry matter nutrient

Corn . . . 143 bushels, or 7 tons silage (DM)

Total cost of production = $570

$0.041 per pound of dry matter nutrient


Hay versus corn1
Hay versus Corn

Using the OSU Budgets

Corn, produced at $0.041 per pound of dry matter nutrient is not only less expensive per nutrient to produce, but it has . . .

TWICE as much energy per pound, with

Nearly 3 TIMES the productivity per acre!

With high land values, productivity is precious!



Plus …

  • Where do you store your hay?

  • How do you feed it?

  • Is it time to PLAN to BUNK feed cows in winter and when pasture is resting in late summer?









Silage mixed with distillers and other co products
Silage mixed with distillers, and other co-products!

Custom harvest and bagging adds ~ $0.01 to cost of a pound of dry matter.

Distillers can be purchased at significant savings at times.

Flour or midds?

Or . . .

Could we consider selling corn grain, and buying hay?


Option 2 the opportunity cont
Option #2, The opportunity, cont . . .

The past 3 years, average Ohio corn, bean & wheat yields

  • Corn, 2005-07, 151 bushels per acre

  • Soybeans, 2005-07, 46 bushels per acre

  • Wheat, 2005-07, 67 bushels per acre

  • Which is the most profitable ? ? ?

  • Using Monday’s (March 3, 2008) cash crop bids, and the OSU Budgets . . .


Option 2 the opportunity cont1
Option #2, The opportunity, cont . . .

Returns to the land project at:

  • Corn, $352.89

  • Soybeans, $354.57

  • Wheat, $335.56 + $23.10 (straw)= $358.66

  • Which is the most profitable ? ? ?

  • Environmentally friendly ? ? ?

  • Let’s look at “life after wheat”


Option 2 the opportunity cont2
Option #2, The opportunity, cont . . .

  • Do we need a place to haul manure nutrients?

  • Do we need to trap or utilize manure nutrients?

  • Do we need additional forage, or cash grain income?

  • Double crop soybeans, gross returns:

    20 bu. X $13.75 = $275 dollars per acre

  • Double crop oat forage, gross returns:

    4 tons X $100/ton = $400 dollars per acre


All things considered hay or
All things considered . . . Hay, or ?

With high yielding, high valued crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat competing for every acre, there’s far less economic incentive to grow hay for livestock feed.

Is it time to get back to a corn, beans and wheat/oats rotation?

And better utilize annuals and crop residues ?



Think about the reality of row crop profitability

While we’ll take a closer look at using oats as a forage base


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