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Corn silage harvest techniques

J P Mueller


The goal in making corn silage is to efficiently harvest and store the maximum amount of digestible nutrients per unit of land area. This requires that dry matter losses due to harvest and storage be minimized.

The end result, high quality silage, is readily consumed by animals and is capable (with proper supplementation) of inducing high levels of animal product.

This article first details when and how to harvest silge and how the moisture levels affects its storage, marking out the ideal conditions for making silage, including the conditions for the silo. It also sets out the conditions for when seepage will or will not occur.

The article also details how to add an absorbent to reduce moisture and the pitfalls to avoid while trying to control moisture levels.

The article also gives a brief description of commercial moisture testers and the procedure to determine moisture content using a microwave oven.

The article also give tips on how to tell from the appearance of the corn whether it is suitable for the silo and gives allowances for drought conditions. Two other factors listed, besides appearance, are black layer formation and milk line position.

Specifications for tight packing, an essential feature for making silage, are also given.



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Article made possible through the contribution of the Iowa State University. 

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