Corn Silage Moisture Testing

As the summer comes to a close farmers need to think about when to harvest their corn for silage. Each year there are a different set of growing conditions. This year has been cooler than average and we are currently 210 heat units below average. This would correlate to about 8 or 9 days of normal summer temperatures.

Accurately determining corn whole plant moisture is important when harvesting corn silage. Harvesting corn for silage too early (high moisture content) or too late (low moisture content) can affect forage yield, quality and silage fermentation. Current recommendations are to harvest at whole plant moisture content of 60-65 percent for upright stave silos, 60-70 percent for silo bags and 65-70 percent for bunker silos.

To assist in determining the corn moisture percentage, producers from Green Lake and Waushara Counties can bring four (4) normal corn stalks from a field to be tested for whole plant moisture (maximum of 3 samples per farm) on Tuesday, Sept. 5 or Monday, Sept. 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Landmark Services Cooperative at Markesan and from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at Insight FS in Wautoma. Producers may bring additional samples for testing for a nominal charge per sample.

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