Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural and Extension Education
Cecil E. Carter Jr.
Roy Lessly, John Jared
The major purpose of this study was to characterize Tennessee corn silage producers and their farming operations, their use of recommended production, harvesting, and storage practices, their contact with Extension agents and to determine the relationships between and among these variables.
A total of 515 corn silage producers in 64 Tennessee counties were interviewed by Extension agents during the fall of 1985. The chi square test was used to determine the strength of the relationship between dependent and independent variables. Chi square values achieving the .05 level of probability were accepted as significant.
Major findings include:
1. Ninety-three percent of the corn silage producers were full-time farmers and 78 percent were less than 56 years of age. The mean age was 46.
2. Seventy-four percent of the corn silage producers indicated dairy as their major source of farm income. ,p>3. The mean acres of corn silage harvested was 57 and the mean yield was 18 tons per acre.
4. Farming status was not significantly related to the number of contacts corn silage producers had with Extension agents. Part-time farmers were as likely as full-time farmers to contact Extension.
5. Producers' age was significantly related to the number of contacts producers had with Extension agents. Younger producers (age 40 or less) appeared to have more contacts with Extension than older producers (41 or older). However, the direction of the relationship could not be determined.
6. Producers 40 years and younger were more likely than older producers to plant a recommended early season variety of corn for silage, plant a recommended full season variety, use row spacings of 36 inches or less, and desire a higher corn plant population per acre.
7. Full-time farmers were more likely than part-time farmers to double crop corn silage, plant corn for silage in April, fertilize and lime by soil test recommendations, and use the U.T. soil testing lab. Full-time producers were more likely to harvest corn silage in the dent stage than part-time farmers.
8. Row crop producers were more likely than dairy or other producers to plant a recommended early or mid season variety. Dairy producers were more likely than row crop or other producers to double crop corn, plant some corn for silage in May, fertilize and lime by soil test recommendations, use the U.T. soil testing lab, apply more potash per acre of corn silage grown, apply one or more tons of lime per acre, harvest corn silage in the dent stage, and store corn silage in and upright silo. Row crop and dairy producers were more likely than others to plant some corn in April and harvest corn silage in the dough stage.
9. Eleven of the 25 selected production, harvesting, and storage practices studied were significantly related to the number of contacts corn silage producers had with Extension agents in 1985. The direction of relationship between Extension contacts and corn silage double cropped was inconclusive. Producers with a higher number of contacts (i.e., 4 or more) were more likely than others to scout corn silage for insects, plant a recommended full season variety, plant corn in rows 37 inches or wider, plant corn plants 7 to 9 inches in the row, fertilize and lime corn silage acreage by soil test, use the U.T. soil testing lab, average applying 101 to 149 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per acre, average applying one or more tons of lime per acre, and harvest corn silage in the dough stage.
Implications and recommendations were also made.
Frady, Kim David, "Relationships between selected characteristics of Tennessee corn silage producers, their farm operations, extension contacts, and their use of selected production, harvesting, and storage practices. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1989.