Published on Wednesday, August 21, 2019
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Planting delays, poor ear formation, and lack of standability are just a few reasons why some farmers may want to consider taking their corn crop for silage. When making this decision, there are a few factors to keep in mind. These include how to optimize silage quality, tonnage, agronomics, and pricing of the crop.
Optimizing Silage Quality and Tonnage:
The “milk line” method is widely used to determine when a field should be harvested. The relative position of the milk line in the kernel is an indicator of the plant’s moisture content. For a more precise indicator, farmers must chop plants up (typically with a small brush chopper) and then dry down the sample with a microwave or Koster oven. Keep in mind that the ensiling storage technique will determine optimal harvest moisture.
Silage harvest typically begins earlier in the year and removes the entire above-ground portion of the plant from the field, so keep these things in mind:
Unlike a grain corn crop which has many markets and straight-forward pricing structures, pricing silage requires farmers to look at a few more metrics (fertility, quality, grain price, etc.) to come up with a fair price for both the farmer and the buyer. Keep these points in mind when setting a price with a buyer:
Author: Ben Puestow
Categories: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk
Tags: Agronomy, Silage, harvesting for silage, tonnage, milk line