Beef and dairy producers will have the ability to determine corn silage nutrient quality during harvest when using John Deere's HarvestLab equipment, beginning this month.
In addition to dry matter content, which Deere's HarvestLab has traditionally been used to measure, the expanded Constituent Sensing capabilities will be able to predict:
* crude protein
* fiber (ADF/NDF)
According to, HarvestLab uses Near Infrared Technology to determine these characteristics of corn silage. Steve Siegel, product manager for John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group says it has proven to be highly reliable under tough field conditions over the past six years.
The device is used on John Deere self-propelled forage harvesters to monitor corn silage at harvest. It also can be disconnected for use as a stationary unit to evaluate silage nutrient quality at the time of feeding.
Siegel says Deere partnered with DairyLand Labs, a recognized expert in forage analysis, to add these other nutrient analysis capabilities to HarvestLab.
"With real-time nutrient analysis, producers and nutritionists can more easily and quickly analyze feed rations for crude protein, fiber and other factors and make adjustments on a daily basis to improve nutrition and reduce feed variability," he says.
The HarvestLab Constituent Sensing enhancement also enables more precise application of silage inoculants at harvest because rates can be adjusted according to crop and dry matter readings. The result is higher quality silage with greater feed value and less spoilage.
Siegel says John Deere received a silver medal for the HarvestLab technology at the 2011 Agritechnica, which is the world's largest agricultural equipment show held in Hanover, Germany.
displays installed on John Deere SPFHs."
For information on John Deere HarvestLab visit your John Deere dealer or go to: www.JohnDeere.com.