From Seed to Feedout: CA Silage Conference

New seed and agronomic information, techniques, and a review of silage harvest best practices were taught at the California Silage Conference on July 24, 2019. Over 130 farmers, dairymen, chopping contractors, dairy nutritionists, and industry service personnel were welcomed by the Frank Fernandes family of Legacy Ranches in Pixley, CA.

Attendees moved through stations featuring seed corn genetic opportunities, specialized agronomic equipment and methods, and silage harvest, storage, feedout and safety information. A ribeye steak lunch was followed by a panel discussion addressing all aspects of the day’s information in a profitable, systematic plan.

Becca Mellema and Barbara Kutzner, Dekalb Seed, welcomed the group to a field test plot to talk about how seed genetic lines are developed and what is in the pipeline to help growers. They showed how differences in root and plant structure benefit yields in a variety of soil conditions and types, and how agronomic methods and nutrition can help plant growth.

Monte Bottens, California Ag Solutions, addressed seed and plant treatment and nutrition science. He connected soil health and sustainability to no till and strip till practice, and discussed targeting plants with just the right measure of micro, macro, biological and soil treatments. Silas Rossow, California Ag Solutions, demonstrated specialized equipment and how its use contributes to soil health, stability, and rejuvenation.

Ron and Connie Kuber, Connor Agriscience, hosted a Jeopardy! game testing conference attendees’ knowledge of harvest planning, drive-over pile construction, inoculant use, pile/bunker face management and silage safety. David Goode, The Climate Company, was the lunch speaker, explaining how mapping fields can help farmers make planting, fertilizing, and harvest decisions based on soil types, regional history, and current yields.

Participant survey feedback was positive. Most appreciated the presentation details and information and the opportunity to gain confidence discussing the technology. Look for further editions of the conference in 2020.

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