The relationship of corn silage harvest moisture and maturity to its quality and performance is often underestimated. Many popcorn varieties produce one or two ears per plant, so you may have enough by growing just five or six plants. The most accurate method for determining when to harvest is to measure the moisture content. I want the corn to look dried up, but when the time is right, I want the corn out of the field as fast as we can harvest.
ChrisMcLaughlin writes: I love growing my own corn, but skipped it this year because I started so many plants that I didn't know what to do with everything, LOL. Stalk deterioration can impact both yield and grain quality. Experience shows that in a typical year, corn silage at this stage dries approximately 0.5% per day.
Some farmers use no-till practices, where they leave the residue on top of the ground and then just plant through it next year. Corn smut is a delicacy in Mexico, but if you want corn rather than corn smut, remove and destroy the fungus; otherwise the black spores will re-infest your corn for several years.
Sometimes farmers can get a break on drying costs. Drought conditions have severely stressed much of the corn crop in many parts of Indiana, causing stalks to weaken and some plants to die prematurely. For maximum quality, sweet corn should be cooled to around 32° F within an hour after harvest.
Corn that is too dry at harvest can be an issue, as well, which is what we've encountered more often in recent years. Stalks become hard and brittle, and ears might start dropping on the ground. I'm living in the plains biome and have yet to run across a single ear of harvestable corn.
Spacing that is too narrow will lead to a higher-than-normal amount of leaves and stalks entering the combine, which makes it harder for the combine to separate the grain from the trash. When corn is transferred from the grain cart to the dryer or bin, many growers use a rotary screen, gravity screen or perforated auger housing section to screen out the fines.
Battel said the soybean crop was about 60 percent harvested in the Thumb and local producers are seeing averages of 50 to 60 bushels per acre. Harvesting too early will lower dry matter yield and especially energy yield with poorly filled kernels. Other factors that contribute to price volatility in corn are ethanol prices, crop yields in other producing countries and the relative value of the U.S. dollar.
The more shank, stalk and trash present in the earlage, the lower the energy content will be (Table 1). Corn crops that did not reach maturity due to poor growing conditions (for example, lack of heat units) will have lower proportions of grain and subsequently lower energy content compared with earlage produced from fields grown under good growing conditions.
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 of biomass, corn residue was becoming a bigger hindrance to tillage.
Now that How To Harvest Corn Seed cellulosic ethanol producers like DuPont Industrial Biosciences and POET-DSM have several years of testing under their belts, it appears that not only is partial harvest sustainable, it also contributes to a better seedbed and yields the following year.