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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shaker Box: Valuable Tool for Custom Harvesters

As discussed in our previous post, farmers who hire custom harvesters rely on them to cut their forages on time and at the correct length. Ultimately, forage quality lies in the hands of the custom harvesters. 

To help harvesters produce high quality forages, Mike Hutjens of the University of Illinois suggests that they invest in Penn State Forage Particle Separators (shaker boxes). Using this valuable tool enables harvesters to estimate how much physically effective fiber a cow could ingest from their forages. The shaker box test results should be compared against their target numbers or guidelines. 

According to Mike Hutjens, a shaker box test conducted on corn silage chopped at the ideal 3/4" length of cut should reflect these results:
Top shaker box: 5-15% of particles
Middle box: 40-60% of particles
Bottom box: less than 30% of particles

To read the complete article, click on the source link below.

Source: Fae Holin. "Don't Have a Shaker Box? You Should, Suggests Nutritionist." Hay & Forage Grower. April 2012: 5.

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