FACT SHEET 5: Corn Plant Dry Down
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Kernel Processing Information Series
Lawrence, Joe; Kerwin, Allison
This series has addressed the influence of dry matter (DM), both whole plant and plant fraction, on corn silage processing score as well as key quality metrics, namely starch content from the recent Corn Silage Processing Score (CSPS project). There is also an opportunity in the data to explore the way in which the corn plant dries down, how that impacts harvest timing decisions, and the influence on forage quality. Whole plant DM has long been considered the best option for timing silage harvest. A whole plant DM of 35 percent is most often cited as an optimum target while a range of 32 percent to 38 percentwhole plant DM is often considered an acceptable range (Table 1). The benefits of harvesting in this range are related to both optimizing crop performance and achieving proper fermentation.
During the 2018 and 2019 growing seasons the New York Farm Viability Institute funded a project led by Cornell PRO-DAIRY to better understand a number of field factors related to CSPS. Project collaborators include: Cornell Cooperative Extension, Miner Institute, SUNY Morrisville, Cornell University Ruminant Center, Corteva Agri-Science, Seedway, Dairy Support Services, Pominville Dairy, Hilltop Divine Dairy and Kingston Farm.
dairy; corn; kernel; processing