Managing High Moisture Corn

Like corn silage, high moisture corn requires careful attention to detail when it comes to harvest timing, processing, and management.

High moisture corn should be harvested around 30%, give or take a couple percentage points. Lower than 28% moisture and packing will be difficult and lead to slow and incomplete fermentation. As dry matter nears 40% and above there is a risk of anaerobic instability (heating) during feed out. High moisture corn must be processed by either roller mill or grinder to make the starch available to fermentation in the rumen. Unbroken kernals or large pieces of kernel will not be digested by the cow and will pass through to the manure, wasting valuable energy.

To reduce spoilage, packing is essential to eliminate oxygen to create an anaerobic environment. Adding an inoculant containing L. buchneri or an acid may be beneficial especially if there has been ear damage or mold growth. L. Buchneri will increase aerobic stability upon feed out due to the acetic acid it produces, reducing yeast count. Therefore, when this fermented feed is re-exposed to oxygen, the feed does not rise in temperature rapidly. Plan for variable removal rate from the silo. A removal rate of 3 to 4 inches per day is typically required to prevent heating during feeding in warmer weather. However, if the high moisture corn contains mycotoxins, the removal rate may need to be reduced to augment the addition of clean dry corn to the diet.

More details can be found at this University of Wisconsin Extension info-siteĀ HERE>>>>.

Adapted from Jodie Myers for Provimi.