Is It Time To Cut Silage? 

One of the most important factors influencing corn silage quality is moisture content at time of harvest. Ideally, corn silage should be harvested at the moisture content correct for the type of silo used. Recommended moisture contents are 65-70% for horizontal silos, 63-68% for conventional tower silos, 55-60% for limited-oxygen silos, and 65% for silo bags.

Crop dry matter yields are maximized around 65% moisture (see table below) as well as minimizing losses during feeding, storage, and harvesting. Delaying harvest past recommended moisture can reduce both the fiber and starch digestibility as the stover becomes more lignified and the mature kernels become harder and less digestible if left unbroken after ensiling. Over mature corn will also offer lower amounts of sugars and vitamin A.

Silage that is too wet will ferment poorly and lose nutrients, while silage that is too dry will pack poorly and could result in mold and spoilage as a result of trapped air. Dry down typically happens at a rate of .50-.75% per day. To get your silage moisture tested, attend Burn Down at your local Centra Sota location.
 
 
Maturity Stage Moisture
%
Yield
tons/A @65%
Crude Protein
%
NDF
%
Digestibility
%
Early dent 73 16.0 9.9 48.0 79.0
1/2 milkline 66 18.0 9.2 45.1 80.0
3/4 milkline 63 18.3 8.9 47.3 79.6
no milkline 60 18.0 8.4 47.3 78.6
University of Wisconsin


 
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