The PRO-DAIRY Forage Quality and Cropping Systems Program focuses on improving forage quality and land use on New York dairy farms to enhance economic and environmental outcomes. The program has built and continues to foster key collaborations with dairy producers, industry groups, university partners, agribusiness, and government organizations. The program addresses emerging needs of important practices, including harvest and storage management, double cropping, tillage and conservation to promote soil health, and hybrid/variety selection to optimize crop yield and quality.

Commercial Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluation Program

PRO-DAIRY continues to lead the Commercial Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluation Program, providing valuable information on the rapidly changing options related to corn hybrid selection, addressing both agronomic and nutritional aspects of corn silage to the dairy industry. Collaborative partnerships have grown into a formal partnership, the Northeast Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluation Consortium, that now includes University of Vermont, Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania, Penn State University, Western NY Crop Management Association, and University of Maine.

Program collaborators continue to leverage the hybrid trials as a platform for additional applied research projects. Recent studies that have allowed for the collection of additional data from the ongoing hybrid trials have addressed important issues related to corn nitrogen use efficiency and the impact of emerging insect pest.

Management of Forage: Weather Challenges

Every growing season brings unique opportunities and challenges; however, in recent years more extreme variations, both within season and from one season to the next, have presented unprecedented challenges to producing high quality forages. Our program strives to react to these growing season conditions, and provide stakeholders with timely and targeted information on how to manage through these condition, with an eye on optimizing forage quality. This information is quickly distributed through short articles in widely distributed electronic networks.

Applied Research and Education

The program continues to expand applied on-farm research collaborations to address emerging issues. During the 2019 growing season, grant funding from the New York Farm Viability Institute, New York Corn Growers Association and the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program was utilized for field studies.

PRO-DAIRY’s Forage Management Program actively educates through a PRO-DAIRY Forage Management online newsletter, Cooperative Extension newsletters, popular press publications (Hay and Forage Grower, Progressive Forage, Progressive Dairy and DAIRYBUSINESS) and a number of email listservs and websites.

Forage Management Resources