The relationship of corn silage harvest moisture and maturity to its quality and performance is often underestimated. The key to harvesting corn is timing. Indiana farmers typically harvest corn at 15-20% moisture content - that's after the corn has had time to dry from 30% moisture at maturity, Vyn said. Another way to check for the color of your crop is to open up your map and check the icon of the crop on the field—once it turns golden brown, then it means the Corn is ready for harvest.
If you are also going to use the combine harvester available from the start, you will have to empty the harvester's grain tank for it to continue harvesting the corn. Figure 1 describes the moisture drydown patterns of two locations in the same field. I still have sweetcorn in the freezer from last year and I have just potted my first seeds for this year.
Snaplage generally contains the ear (cob and grain), husk, and shank and is harvested using a self-propelled forage harvester equipped with a snapper head and an on-board kernel processor (Picture 1 & 2). This allows for earlier corn harvest which proceeds more rapidly with kernel processing done in the harvester rather than at the silo as done with RHMC.
Monitor losses behind the combine and grain quality in the grain tank throughout the day. Grow sweetcorn in a sheltered, sunny position, protected from strong wind, on any fertile garden soil. Sweet corn varieties lose their sweetness soon after harvesting. Gathering loss includes ears missed or lost by the machine, kernels shelled and lost by the stalk rolls or cornhead, which is where most harvest loss occurs.
Some farmers prefer sampling only 2 or 3 plants to reduce the chances of a non-representative grain to stover ratio. DuPont and Iowa State determined that partial (about 50%) corn stover removal improved corn yields by about 5.2 bushels per acre in more than 90% of the fields studied.
With this summer's drought, much of the dryland corn had been harvested early for silage. For that reason, many agronomists recommend to begin harvest when corn is around 25% moisture. Bob Battel, a field crops educator for Michigan State University Extension, said corn is just starting.
In a cool year, when the corn matures more slowly, much of Iowa's crop isn't harvested until November. Selecting hybrids with inherent grain quality attributes is the first step toward producing a quality crop. If you're not near a refrigerator and you have some harvested corn, keep the freshly picked ears in single layers, rather than stacking them.
Sweet corn not consumed or processed within a few hours after harvest should be precooled quickly to reduce conversion of sugar to starch and loss of flavor and tenderness. Collect 5 to 10 Corn On The Cob representative plants from the entire field. The sweetness of corn depends on the variety, temperature and amount of sunlight during the day when the ears are forming.
Unlike other grasses grown for hay or haylage, where high quality forage is achieved by harvesting before mature seedheads develop, with corn a fully developed ear with complete grain fill is necessary for maximum yield. Machines used for harvesting corn have gradually become more complex and more expensive.
Super sweet varieties have been developed to slow down the conversion of the natural sugars into starch, which makes these varieties last longer on the stalk, and helps them retain their flavor for a few days once harvested. Corn silage is a grass plant containing digestible fiber with high-moisture corn attached.