Handling Silage from Fields with Uneven Maturity

September 5, 1996 3(24):142

Joe Lauer, Corn Agronomist

Many corn fields in Wisconsin are uneven for maturity. There is some concern about harvesting these fields for silage and the potential for mold development. Mold problems in silage occur when corn is harvested too dry. When harvesting a corn field differing in maturity handle field sections separately where possible. In fields where the chopper must move through areas differing in maturity (i.e. low spots) chop when the majority of the field is at the proper moisture. The immature spots will be wetter than the rest of the field and might seep in the silo, but as long as the seepage does not leave the silo, nothing is lost. Fermentation should be adequate for preservation of the corn silage. However, corn that is too dry might develop a "hot spot" where mold can develop, thereby increasing the chances for mycotoxin development.

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