In recent years dairy nutritionists have recognized the importance of harvesting corn silage at moisture levels high enough to ensure good starch and fiber utilization. The recommendation for harvesting corn silage is based upon the moisture content of the silage. Research has shown that the best lactation performance by dairy cows occurs when corn silage is harvested at 65-70% whole plant moisture.
To help dairy producers target the ideal corn silage moisture for the storage system they use on their farm, Adell Coop, Kettle Lakes Coop, the Sheboygan County Forage Council, and University of Wisconsin-Extension Sheboygan County has planned two Corn Silage Dry Down Days. The first one will be held on Wednesday, August 22, form 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kettle Lakes Co-op, Random Lake. The second testing day will be Wednesday, Aug. 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Adell Co-op in Adell.
Those wishing to test corn silage moistures will want to use the following sampling procedures. Collect four or five whole stalks from an area that best represents the field. Cut the sample at your normal chopping height. Bundle it together and identify with: name, address, planting date, hybrid, and maturity. After stalks have been collected from the field they should be delivered to the testing site as soon as possible to keep corn plants from drying. Stalks will be chopped, and analyzed on site for moisture using NIR. To monitor corn silage moisture from around the state go to: www.uwex.edu/ces/cty/sheboygan/ag/agronomy/index.html.
For more information about the Corn Silage Dry Down Days contact Mike Ballweg at the Sheboygan County Extension Office at (920) 467-5742.