Corn Silage Research Project

PDMP Corn Silage Research

For over twenty years, dairy producers have benefited from the PDMP Corn Silage Research Project through detailed and specific reports that help them evaluate corn hybrids. Between the volatility of the feed markets, and the extreme weather impacts of recent growing seasons, producers have found the results of this research to be more important than ever in making the most effective and profitable purchasing decisions to meet the goals of their individual operations.

This producer initiated, designed, run and delivered project is recognized nationally as the only silage research conducted by an independent third party, and as such it provides leadership in assessing the hybrids via unbiased information. In addition to making it easier for producers to make meaningful comparisons of corn hybrid seeds, the results influence decisions made by seed companies, leading them to develop hybrids that best meet the needs of the dairy industry. The PDMP research program is conducted in a unique and collaborative effort between actual dairy producers, Penn State University and the seed companies.  Further collaboration with Cornell University and Western NY Crop Management bring uniformity to all of the testing protocols and reporting of data in the Northeast region.

The Corn Silage Hybrid Project has a two-fold objective:

  1. Short Term: Provide reliable, third-party silage hybrid research and do so in a customizable format so that producers can determine the best hybrids for their operations according to the unique characteristics that are important to their situations and objectives.
  2. Long Term: Influence the decisions of seed companies all the way back to the chain of influence, to the plant breeding decision makers, so that developing highly digestible true forage hybrids become a priority of the commercial seed industry.

How it Works 

The Project is designed by the PDMP Corn Silage Research Committee; a collaborative and dedicated sub-committee of PDMP made up of dairy producer members, representatives of the seed industry and our partners at Penn State with whom PDMP contracts to manage the extensive logistics of planting, maintaining and harvesting the numerous test plots.

PDMP members who are interested in joining the committee or offering suggestions for future testing are encouraged to contact us at .

Each growing season, seed companies that wish to gain more data on their developing products, enter their selected hybrids with a fee to help PDMP cover costs for the program and testing.  

Penn State Department of Plant Science, plants, maintains and monitors the plots through the growing season and submits silage to an independent laboratory for testing.  Results are targeted for the first week of November.

Only PDMP produces the results of our exclusive research program allowing producers to evaluate the yield and forage quality of commercial corn hybrids to determine what is best for their operation according to the unique characteristics important to the objectives of their particular farm operation.  

At the heart of the PDMP research is serving our dairy producer members. We are looking to fill unique voids in the R&D community in Pennsylvania today by undertaking projects that are immediately useful to our producer members and currently not adequately addressed by industry or the university community.  Our unique results are predicated on the fact that our research studies are driven by what the producers tell us they need to know and our third party leadership prohibits any bias from factoring into the design or results of the research.