Proper harvest management is critical for high-quality corn silage. It all starts with harvest timing.

Silage that is too wet when harvested may not ferment properly and can lose nutrients through seepage. If silage is too dry, it has lower digestibility because of harder kernels and more lignified stover. In addition, dry silage does not pack as well, increasing the potential for air pockets and mold.

Due to variability among hybrids and fields, measure silage moisture using a commercial forage moisture tester or microwave oven rather than estimating it from the kernel starch line. Instead, the kernel starch line should be an indicator of when to collect the first silage samples for moisture testing.

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