Corn, silage

Sept 10, 2015. Harvesting the highest quality corn silage for feed depends on a number of factors. The overall quality of the silage is affected by whole plant moisture and maturity of the plant when ensiled. Depending on the type of silage storage, harvest moisture should range from 60-70 percent when bunked or bagged. Silage put up too wet will yield less, have dry matter losses and higher pH – losing palatability and consumption potential. It will also be subject to storage losses from  seepage of moisture and sugars. If it’s too dry, the silage will pack poorly, have too much oxygen in the mix and not ferment properly.

The most accurate way to determine moisture content and ideal harvest timing is through whole plant moisture testing, though it is a time consuming process. In some cases, kernel milk line can be used to determine when to start silaging or whether more moisture testing is needed. In general, silaging should happen between one-half to one-third milk line, depending on the weather, and correlates to 60-70 percent whole plant moisture. Whole plant testing is the most consistent method of knowing when to start silaging.

Members of the CPS team recently took part in a corn and soybean tour, where Wilt Billing, CPS Product Line Manager for Corn and Soybeans, demonstrated to agronomists how to assess milk line in corn.

“We noticed there are distinct variations between corn varieties and hybrids,” says Cynthia Dietz, Proven Seed Brand Manager. “To assess the milk line, break a cob in half and look at the kernels. When a kernel is split from dent to embryo tip, a white line divides the firm starchy portion of the kernel from a white milky portion.”

Kernals with milk line progressing to black line

Kernels with milk line progressing to black line

View More Proven Weekly Posts

”Research, development and innovation is the heart of our work. It’s where we start and it’s how we continually improve and expand our seed offering. Our extensive R&D program includes dedicated researchers committed to providing consistent, high-quality seed products that meet the needs of growers across Western Canada.”

-Ryan McCann, Director – Seed, CPS Canada

Proven Where It Counts

Proven Performance Trials is the largest seed variety comparison program in Western Canada – the most varieties, of the most crops, across a diverse set of geographies. We put our seed to the test by working with hundreds of cooperators to ensure that our seed performs best where it counts – on large scale, producer-managed fields.

Discover how the Proven Performance Trials will help you in your 2018 seed decisions.


All products listed are trademarks of their respective companies. Proven® Seed is a registered trademark of Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc.
CPS CROP PRODUCTION SERVICES and Design is a registered trademark of Crop Production Services Inc.

© 2018, Crop Production Services, Inc