The relationship of corn silage harvest moisture and maturity to its quality and performance is often underestimated. The energy content of earlage varies with harvest method and the amount of roughage ensiled with the grain (Table 1). Harvest methods that collect a larger proportion of stalk (for example, all-crop headers) will produce a lower-energy earlage product than harvest methods that only ensile grain and a portion of the cob.
Harvested ears can be placed on conveyors in the field to be transported to a packing facility, or packed directly in the field on harvest aids for an even quicker and more efficient packing process. 3. Once the kernel milk-line appears and begins to move (soon after full dent stage), sample and measure the wholeplant % DM of fields to be harvested for silage.
Earlage is growing in popularity in this region of the country because it allows the production of a relatively high-energy feed product, which can be harvested, stored and fed much like corn silage, using the same types of equipment that are used to produce corn silage.
Silage harvest usually begins around 50% kernel milk which is 42 to 47 days after silking, so silking must occur by August 15-20 in order to mature before typical killing frost dates; but remember that the timing of silage harvest is dependent upon achieving the proper moisture for the storage structure (Table 1). Noting the order that fields silk will help plan the harvest queue of your fields and scheduling of custom choppers.
If seed is saved from too few plants, subsequent plants may be short, mature late and produce few ears. When growers harvest too early, they compromise starch and feed quality. I would encourage anyone who has the right soils, topography and fertility to take a look at harvesting stover,” Fevold says.
Stalk integrity is less so there can be more stalk and root lodging as well as ear drop prior to running the combine through the field. Corn is ready for harvest when ears turn dark green, silks turn brown, and kernels are soft and plump; squeeze a kernel and the juice will be milky not clear.
For optimum corn silage quality the corn kernel should be well dented and the milk line is half to two thirds down the kernel. Pioneer® brand products are rated for resistance to prevalent ear rot diseases, test weight, and overall grain quality. You also have more time to plant cover crops, apply fall herbicides, and spreading manure.
Once the target milk stage is reached and whole-plant % DM is determined, an average dry down rate of 0.5% unit per day can be used to estimate the number of days until harvest. Under drought conditions or south of the upper tier of states in the USA, samples should be collected slightly earlier than the stages shown in Table 2. Corn reaches harvestable % DM at earlier kernel stages as you move south.
With increasingly high planting populations (the Wirtzes plant corn at an average of 38,000 plants per acre in a corn-on-corn rotation) and stacked trait hybrids producing increasing amounts How To Harvest Corn Seed of biomass, corn residue was becoming a bigger hindrance to tillage.
How to Grow Corn: Corn is a tender, warm-season annual that is best planted after the soil temperature reaches 60°F, usually 2 or 3 weeks after the last frost in spring. But allowing corn to field dry can also have negative consequences to both yield and quality if stalk or ear rot diseases or insect feeding damage are increasing.