This season even within the same field we are finding radically different moistures. The greener corn in the image below is at 67% moisture and the drier plant is at 54%. Under our current drought stress conditions, there can easily be 10% differences in whole plant moisture within the same field. These variations can make staging the silage harvest even more complex than usual. Fields with a great deal of variation must be tested in multiple spots to get the full picture of the moisture status of the corn in that field.
Optimal moisture content for silage fermentation is 62-65%. While harvesting too wet or too dry are both problematic, starting the harvest early enough to avoid harvesting too dry is a good strategy. We are now able to generate reports through Pioneer/Corteva software tools that can predict the stage of growth of your corn and project likely harvest dates. If you are not already working with us to get your planting data into these tools, we’d be happy to work with you.
For more information on timing your corn silage harvest, check out this helpful article in Field Crop News out of Ontario, Canada.