To save poor rusted timothy hay, and let better fodder go to waste in the corn fields, has always been the rule in the west. Here are a few facts which are worth considering. If a corn crop is cut when the ears are well dented, (nearly ripe) the fodder will contain digestible nutrients per ton as follows: Albuminoids 66 pounds; Carbohydrates 868 pounds, and fat 20 pounds. To cut it earlier, would cause it to be less nutritious.
On a preceding page of this bulletin we stated, that digestible albuminoids and fats were worth 3.343 cents per pound, and that carbohydrates were worth 0.6 cents per pound in Iowa. Therefore, a little figuring will show, that a ton of good corn fodder is worth $8.08 or $16.16 per acre, as average corn fields in Iowa yield two tons of field dried fodder per acre. In former years, the average yield of hay from timothy meadows has not exceeded one and one half tons per acre. The digestible nutrients in one ton of good timothy hay are as follows: Albuminoids 73.4 pounds; carbohydrates 825 pounds, and fat 20.6 pounds; therefore a ton of timothy hay is worth $8.08 per ton, or $12.12 per acre. We find that there is no difference between the values of a ton of good timothy hay and a ton of corn fodder; but on account of the greater yield of the latter, an acre of corn fodder is worth $4.04 more than the hay from an acre of timothy.
Speer, R. P.
Bulletin (Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station): Vol. 1
, Article 6.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletin/vol1/iss10/6