Dry Matter (DM) Testing
Why calculate Dry Matter (DM)?
- Maximize nutrient preservation
- Better and faster silage fermentation
- Optimum levels mean better density, less shrink and aerobic stability at feedout
- A factor in purchasing forages
- Ration formulation at feedout
When should Dry Matter be calculated (DM)?
- Before harvest, sample stalks form different parts of the field, chop them and calculate Dry Matter. Use this with milk-line analysis (kernels one-half to two-thirds milk line) to determine forage harvest timing.
- During harvest, sample chopped silage once per hour before it is put into the pile or bunker. Set up to do this at he weigh scale.
- Can be done at the same time as Kernel Processing Score and Particle Size Evaluation.
What equipment is needed to test Dry Matter?
- Microwave (and a glass of water) or a Koster tester
- Paper plate
- Gram scale (from an office supply store)
- Binder to file results
- Log for recording weights, Dry Matter results and storage location
Who can do the Dry Matter calculations?
- Anyone who can keep the samples organized and do simple math on a calculator.
- Recruit and train two to three people to make sure tests are run over entire harvest
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