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Lack of Moisture Triggers Corn Silage Harvest

09/06/2013 @ 1:45pm

With late planting dates and above-normal rainfall in July, many farmers were predicting a late harvest and wondering how they’d be able to get the 2013 crop dry enough. The past month has brought excessively high temperatures with little to no rainfall to much of the Midwest, so now there is talk about harvesting early to optimize yield.

The combination of late planted corn, severe moisture stress and unusually cool nighttime temps during pollination time have contributed to poor pollination in some areas. This could reduce overall starch levels and quality. 

Starch is generally the component that helps absorb moisture. The key point, says Latham Forage Product Manager Corey Catt, is to moisture test several areas of field to be sure you’re getting the most accurate results.  Harvesting corn at half milkline, as shown here, usually provides optimal moisture of 65 to 70% for corn silage.

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