Corn Silage Moisture’s Indicate Harvest Time is Here or Near

The Marinette office of UW-Madison, Division of Extension, is sponsoring corn silage moisture monitoring sampling days during September of 2020.  The first of these sample collection days was Tuesday, September 1st.  The other two days are Tuesdays, September 8th and 15th.  Each of these dates will have four sampling sites: Middle Inlet Town Hall from 10:30 to 11:15; Crivitz Feed Mill from 11:30 to 12:15; Beaver Town Hall from 12:30 to 1:30; Grover Town Hall from 1:45 to 2:45.

Results from the first sampling day clearly show that there is quite a bit of maturity variation amongst corn fields in the county yet.  This is a reminder of how important it is for individual farms to sample their own fields and make sure that they are harvesting their own fields at the optimum silage moisture for their farm and storage situations.  The table below summarizes the sample data by sample collection site, with 26 total samples from 13 farms.

Site                        Ave. Moisture   Range

Middle Inlet                        68           66-70

Crivitz                                73.5         73-74

Beaver                              71.25       67-77

Grover                               70.6        60-77

As corn matures and the grain dries down, whole plant moisture percentage also goes down, usually about 0.4 to 0.5% per day.  If a farm has a field testing at 71% moisture and they want it to be 67% at harvest to go into their bunker silo, they probably have about one week to ten days until that field is at optimum moisture.

Any producers wanting to discuss corn silage management, or other production concerns, can contact Scott Reuss, Marinette Agriculture Agent, at 715-732-7510, by e-mailing him at scott.reuss@wisc.edu

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