Maize for Silage
Insight 313


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Maize silage is an excellent feed option for all types of deer.  It may be included in weaner growing rations, fed to lactating hinds or used to maintain breeding animals.


  1. High yields

    The maize plant is an efficient converter of sunlight, nutrients and water into plant material.  It has the ability to produce high drymatter yields and performs well under dry conditions. 

  2. Low cost per unit of drymatter

    The high production capability of maize means that most farmers can grow crops that yield 18 - 26 tDM/ha for 15 - 21 c/kgDM. This includes the cost of using contractors for all crop work.

  3. Feed when required

    Provided that it has been compacted well and sealed, a stack of maize silage will keep indefinitely if necessary. Maize silage therefore gives increased flexibility when compared to other summer crop options. 

  4. High energy content

    In good quality maize silage, more than half of the total drymatter yield is in the form of high energy maize grain. This contributes to the high level of energy in maize silage compared to more traditional conserved feeds (Table 1).

  5. Good fibre levels

    Maize silage contains excellent levels of fibre that is particularly necessary for deer especially Wapiti.

    Table 1: Hay and silage feed values





Crude Protein


Pasture silage



Pasture hay



Maize silage

10.8 – 11.2




Deer will not eat silage that is of poor quality.  It is very easy to get maize silage well fermented if a quality maize silage inoculant (such as Pioneer® brand 1132 or 11C33 maize silage specific inoculant) is used and good stack management practices are followed.

Maize can be stored in a bunker or in an above-the-ground stack.  For either storage system, ensure that the face area (height x width) is as small as possible. This will ensure that you are feeding adequate amounts of the face each day to prevent silage deterioration at feed-out time.  Remember however that the narrowest stack that you can compact is twice the width of your tractor. The use of an aerobic stability inoculant (e.g. Pioneer® brand 11C33 maize silage specific inoculant) will reduce silage heating at feed-out time. 

Pioneer® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchasing, which are part of the labeling and purchase documents.

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The information in this publication is general in nature only. Although the information in this publication is believed to be accurate, no liability (whether as a result of negligence or otherwise) is accepted for any loss of any kind that may arise from actions based on the contents of this publication.

© 2021, Genetic Technologies Limited. No part of this publication can be reproduced without prior written consent from Genetic Technologies Limited.

Revised: Jan 2020
Expires: Jan 2022