Corn Silage Tests in Tennessee 2020

Virginia Sykes, Assistant Professor, Variety Testing Coordinator and Agroecology Specialist

Aleksandra Wilson, Research Associate, Variety Testing and Agroecology

Gary Bates, Professor and UT Beef and Forage Center Director

David McIntosh, Coordinator, UT Beef and Forage Center

Agronomic Crop Variety Testing and Demonstrations

Department of Plant Sciences
The University of Tennessee
Institute of Agriculture
Knoxville, TN
Telephone: (865) 974-7285 Email:


This research was funded by UT Extension with partial funding from participating companies.

We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the following individuals in conducting these experiments:

Department of Plant Sciences

Dennis West, Professor and Grains Breeder

David Kincer, Research Associate

AgResearch and Education Centers:

East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center (Knoxville, TN)

Robert Simpson, Director

B.J. DeLozier, Farm Manager

Cody Fust, Farm Crew Leader

Charles Summey, Senior Field Worker

Nicholas Tissot, Light Farm Equipment Operator

Plateau AgResearch and Education Center (Crossville, TN)

Walt Hitch, Director

Greg Blaylock, Farm Crew Leader

Dereck Corbin, Research Associate

Highland Rim AgResearch and Education Center (Springfield, TN)

Robert Ellis, Director

Brad S. Fisher, Research Associate

Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center (Spring Hill, TN)

Kevin Thompson, Director

Joe David Plunk, Research Associate


Experimental Procedures

AgResearch and Education Center (REC) Tests: Eight corn hybrids were evaluated for silage yield and quality in 2020. The tests were conducted at the East Tennessee (Knoxville), Highland Rim (Springfield), Middle Tennessee (Spring Hill), and Plateau (Crossville) RECs. The plots at all locations consisted of two rows, planted 30 inches apart, 30 feet in length. Entries were arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Yields were adjusted to both dry weight and 65% moisture. Plots were planted at 36,000 seeds/ac with a population goal of 34,000 plants/ac. The resulting plant populations, as well as the planting and harvesting dates, are given in Table 1. Plots were harvested using commercial silage harvesters. A sub-sample of approximately 3 lbs was taken from each plot for analysis. Fresh weight and dried weight were recorded on each sample for determination of moisture at harvest. Dried samples were then ground and analyzed for nutritive content. Silage quality analyses were provided by the UT Beef and Forage Center using a Foss DS2500F (Foss North America, Eden Prairie, MN) instrument with the 2020 Unfermented Corn Silage calibration provided by the NIRS Consortium (Berea, KY). Predictions for milk production per ton and milk production per acre were calculated using the University of Wisconsin Milk2006 program.

Growing Season: Early season rainfall delayed corn planting throughout most of the state, with heavy rainfall and late frost effecting early planted corn in late April. By May 26, 86 percent of corn had been planted across the state, compared to the five-year average of 95 percent. Dry weather in mid-August allowed for corn to begin to dry down. By mid-August, 71 percent of the crop rated good to excellent.

Interpretation of Data:

The tables on the following pages have been prepared with the entries listed in order of yield performance, the highest-yielding entry being listed first. Mean separation was performed using the Fisher’s Protected LSD (Least Significant Difference) test. The mean trait value of any two entries being compared must differ by at least the LSD amount shown to be considered different at the 5% level of probability of significance. To simplify interpretation, Mean Separation Letters have been listed next to each entry for traits analyzed across locations. Hybrids that have any letter in common are not significantly different in yield at the 5% level of probability based on the LSD test. Hybrids with performance not significantly different from the top performing hybrid will have an “A” included in the list of mean separation letters next to that entry.

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