Just like harvesting Sugarbeet and Potato, harvesting Corn involves the need to purchase a different type of tool or machine to complete the harvest. Once the whole corn ears enter the combine they are introduced to a spinning rotor which threshes the grain from the cob. Historically, recommendations were to harvest corn silage when kernels were at the black layer stage but today's hybrids are too dry at the black layer stage.
By storage time, an abundance of broken kernels and fines” can restrict air flow and provide a ready substrate for insects and diseases. Each ear of corn forms as many kernels as the number of silks that were pollinated. Producers must properly manage snaplage harvest to ensure a consistent product at the correct moisture with minimal stalk or trash is going into storage.
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.
Similarly, if the crop is harvested too late, dry matter yield is reduced because of leaf loss, dropped ears, and stalk breakage. So now, the corn is physiologically mature and dent corn is maybe a month further along than harvested sweet corn. Timely corn harvest may also mean less ear mold development because ear molds enter the plant at pollination and multiply in the humid drydown conditions of grain drying in the field.
Corn silage harvesting (Photo 4) includes chopping the entire corn plant (stalk, cob, and corn) into a wagon or truck. If stalks lodge due to storms or wind, ears can come in contact with the ground. Although specialty varieties are available for baby corn production, baby corn can be harvested from many common corn varieties, as well.
When it comes to growing corn, you want genetics and traits that produce high yields in your fields. Harvesting corn too wet (low DM content) results in souring and seepage of the silage and reduction in animal intake. Yet, I want to give you three reasons to continue harvesting your corn between 20 and 25% moisture: phantom yield loss, harvest loss, and fall operation.
Plant sweetcorn in the spring and by late summer you'll be picking lots of fresh cobs, which are far tastier and more succulent than any you can buy in the shop. Corn plants were utilized in other ways, too. The following steps will help producers harvest corn silage at the optimal time.
The cobs are the female part of the corn plant with every Corn On The Cob kernel being a flower”. The silking date can be used as an indicator to give you an estimate of timing for corn silage harvest, usually 42-47 days after silking. Sweet corn remains in the milk stage for a relatively short period, so check the ears frequently.
Finally, consider a "worst case" scenario at the same yield and price levels where excess harvest losses are 15% and down corn is as high as 30 percent moisture, the cost of harvest losses would be $123.75 per acre but only $79.37 would be needed to dry the crop, so even at this high moisture the savings would be $44.38 per acre.
One bushel of corn can produce about 2.8 gallons of ethanol, and the process also yields about 17 pounds of a high-protein animal feed known as dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). When harvested, the kernels should be hard and the husks completely dry.