Two counties in east central Wisconsin have announced their schedules for corn silage dry down days. They are being held about two weeks later than the customary time because of the late development of the year's corn crop.
In both Calumet and Fond du Lac counties, dry down days are scheduled on the second through fourth Tuesdays of September with an "if needed" day set for Tuesday, Sept. 30.
Growers who plan to harvest corn for silage are asked to cut three, four, or five stalks representative of the crop in their field(s) at the anticipated chopper height shortly before bringing them to the moisture testing site. They should also provide the corn hybrid's identity, its relative maturity rating, and the planting date.
In Calumet County, the dry down dates and locations are Sept. 9 at the Country Visions Co-op (Highway 57 and County E north of Chilton), Sept. 16 at the Martin and Tom Biese farm (N2818 Highway 57 between Chilton and New Holstein), and Sept. 23 at Schneider Farms Inc., (Faro Springs Road and McHugh Road southwest of Hilbert). The Sept. 30 if needed location is the Greg Bohman farm, N8819 County PP north of Brillion.
All of the Fond du Lac County dry down days will be conducted at the Dave Schmitz family farm, N5236 River Road, about one mile to the south off County D/Military Road (the old 151 west of Fond du Lac).
The corn stalks (four are recommended) brought to the Schmitz farm will be chopped there and then sent to a forage laboratory for moisture analysis. Results are typically provided by the next day. The dry down days are sponsored by the Fond du Lac County Forage Council and area agribusinesses.
In addition to the traditional on-site koster oven test for whole corn plant moisture, Calumet County's dry down days will also feature the option of forage analysis by a portable unit provided by Mike Melso of NEW Farm Technologies.
Calumet County will also be offering presentations on the first three scheduled dry down days. The topics and presenters will be forage research by John Goeser of Rock River Laboratory on Sept. 9, corn silage management by county agriculture agent Eric Ronk on Sept. 16, and the economics of silage production (costs, pricing, and marketing) by Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) adult education program instructor Jeremy Hanson.
A donation of $3 per sample is suggested for the Calumet County dry down days. Hamburgers and beverages will served during the noon hour.
Sponsors for the Calumet County dry down days are the Extension Service, the Midwest Forage Association, the county's forage council, and FVTC.