Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
Corn silage samples collected yesterday by Alyssa Collins, Director of the Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Landisville and Assistant Professor at Penn State, compared to samples collected last week show variability in dry down rates for differing relative maturities of corn, as well as how quickly dry down can occur this time of year. This indicates just how closely corn must be monitored during the early fall.
Corn silage is being chopped in the southern portion of Pennsylvania, and where dry conditions persist in other regions, silage corn is continuing to draw closer to the optimum moisture content for harvest. If not monitored closely, the corn could go from ideal moisture to too dry, increasing the risk of storage losses. Silage harvested below the optimal moisture content can be difficult to pack and lead to a failure in excluding air to ensure proper fermentation, resulting in molding and heating of the forage, and in turn reducing quality and livestock performance. In the case of chopping silage that has become drier than the optimal moisture according to your storage facility, there are some management recommendations that can aid in ensuring proper fermentation and quality of your forage.