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Processing of corn silage has become a more common practice, which can improve fermentation by increasing the starches and sugars available to the silage microorganisms.  This reduces dry matter losses in the silo and helps to break up cobs, improving fiber consumption.

Although kernel processing has improved over the past few years, it is still common to have very poorly processed corn. How well the kernel is processed is directly related to how well starch will digest in lactating dairy cows. Processing corn silage too fine will affect rumen health and lactation, therefore, it is necessary to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of good processing practices.

A Corn Silage Processing Score test to evaluate kernel processing and determine the state of processing in stored corn silage is available at SGS. This test involves shaking silage over a series of sieves and measuring the percent of starch passing through a 4.75-mm sieve. Turnaround time for this test is 2 days and can be added to any of our packages.


With current high fertilizer prices, it may be an opportune time to build your own soil fertility. On average, many soils are declining in phosphorus and potassium. Soil testing determines the levels of extractable nutrients, and provides a baseline of fertility trends over time.

To increase a soil test by 1 ppm, it typically requires 35 lbs per acre of P205.  For potassium, the amount is variable depending on soil texture, but 17 to 19 lbs K20 per acre is frequently cited.

Many growers ask us where macronutrient levels should be maintained.  A good rule of thumb is 20 ppm P and 120 ppm K; as higher levels have a lower likelihood of response from additional inputs for most rotational crops.  For magnesium, maintaining levels approximately double that of potassium will eliminate the chance of K-induced magnesium deficiency.


The Ontario Certified Crop Advisor program now has a specialist designation for 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, Right Placement of nutrients).

SGS Guelph is proud to announce we have 3 CCA’s that have achieved the 4R NMS certification.  Congratulations to Tim Wright, Dennis O’Connor, and Jack Legg!


We look forward to seeing our greenhouse clients at the Canadian Greenhouse Conference in Niagara Falls, at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, Oct 5 and 6.  We are located in booth #1013, so be sure to stop by and see our experts, drop off samples or pick up testing supplies. Click here for more details.

For more information, please contact:

Jack Legg, CCA-ON
Branch Manager, Agronomist
Guelph, Ontario N1H 6T9
503 Imperial Rd. N., Unit 1
t: +01 519 837 1600