Particle Size (Chop Length) Testing
Why evaluate Particle Size?
- Correct chop length minimizes air (oxygen) in the pile or bunker
- Correct chop length is important for fiber in the ration
- Recommended corn Theoretical Length of Chop (TLC) is 1/2" to 3/4". Grass and alfalfa TLC is 3/8" to 1/2"
When should Particle Size be evaluated?
- Before harvest, set up a station at weigh scale or safe area
- During harvest, once per hour, sample chopped silage before it is piled/stored
- Run the Dry Matter Test and Kernel Processing Score Test at the same time for efficiency and maximum valuable data
What equipment is needed?
- Penn State Particle Separator (Shaker Box) (purchase from www.enasco.com)
- Gram scale (purchase from an office supply store)
- Container for weighing sample
- PRINTABLE Particle Size Test Log and Written Instructions
- Binder to file results of all tests
Who can run the test?
- Anyone who can keep 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