The relationship of corn silage harvest moisture and maturity to its quality and performance is often underestimated. If you have a choice, it's a good idea to harvest corn as close to the time you're going to eat or use it as possible. Snaplage and RHMC were harvested from the same field with the same hybrid on two dates to get desired moisture levels. Apparently, people have been asking Agriculture Proud why farmers let their corn die in the field.
By storage time, an abundance of broken kernels and fines” can restrict air flow and provide a ready substrate for insects and diseases. Each ear of corn forms as many kernels as the number of silks that were pollinated. Producers must properly manage snaplage harvest to ensure a consistent product at the correct moisture with minimal stalk or trash is going into storage.
In a Wisconsin study, 82% of the hybrids tested exhibited a poor relationship between kernel milk-line stage and whole-plant % dry matter. Grain moisture decreased nearly 6% between harvest dates in Oct. Corn harvest will be upon us much sooner than normal and expectations are generally much higher than recent years.
Also, corn harvested with over 70% moisture will seep, especially when stored in upright silos. The combine harvester actually is the first thing to process corn stalks, so the way a farmer outfits the combine has an effect of how the How Farms Work residue is left in the field.
If seed is saved from too few plants, subsequent plants may be short, mature late and produce few ears. When growers harvest too early, they compromise starch and feed quality. I would encourage anyone who has the right soils, topography and fertility to take a look at harvesting stover,” Fevold says.
With this summer's drought, much of the dryland corn had been harvested early for silage. For that reason, many agronomists recommend to begin harvest when corn is around 25% moisture. Bob Battel, a field crops educator for Michigan State University Extension, said corn is just starting.
Water well in dry weather; this is vital when the plants are flowering. Stover moisture content should probably not exceed 30 percent for optimum harvesting. Stowell's Evergreen produces 8″ inch ears of tender, white kernals on 10′ foot stalks. IMPORTANT IRM INFORMATION: Genuity RIB Complete corn blend products do not require the planting of a structured refuge except in the Cotton-Growing Area where corn earworm is a significant pest.
The key to deciding which of these suggestions is appropriate for your fields is to closely monitor both moisture and crop condition beginning at physiological maturity. After pollination kernels appear. Dry matter content of whole-plant corn varies with maturity.
Hard to estimate, but surface organic matter levels would decrease and equilibrate to a lower level if corn stover were harvested frequently over a period of time. Combines are equipped to either spread the material evenly over the field or to drop a windrow of plant material that could be baled for livestock.
Some growers are using a V-rake to window the stalks and then coming back in with a windrow pick-up (bean) head on their combine to pick up stalks and ears from the ground. Earlage is higher in energy than corn silage with similar protein content, but it has lower energy than dry or high-moisture corn grain (Table 1).