Corn silage moisture monitoring in Oconto, Marinette, Florence counties

Dan Hansen


UW-Extension of Marinette, Oconto and Florence counties offers corn silage producers the opportunity to test their corn’s whole-plant moisture percentage. While corn silage harvesting will be starting soon, individual farms and fields will experience significant differences in moisture.

“Testing of corn fields for moisture is very important to planning both when to start chopping and what field order to progress through,” said Scott Reuss, Marinette County UW-Extension agriculture agent.

All area producers are invited to utilize the sample collection days Wednesdays, Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28.  There are multiple sample collection points across the area to which producers can bring their samples. Reuss will be present at the sites to chop and collect samples.

The complete schedule of collection sites and times can be found at and click on the agriculture tab, or email Reuss at or refer to the most recent Marinette County UW-Extension agriculture newsletter.

Collection sites include the Middle Inlet Town Hall, Fendryk Farms in Town of Beaver, Kuchta Farms in Town of Grover, Peterson Farms in Town of Lena and Curt Kohls Farm in Town of Gillett, and the final two dates also have the Aurora Feed Mill-Stephenson Marketing as a collection point.

Sample collection is very important to getting good test results. However, this is difficult, as there is often moisture differences within fields, as well as across fields. Because of these differences, samples should be collected from all fields and areas of fields that have different varieties or growing conditions.

“In uniform fields, collect at least five plants in a W-shaped pattern from the area being sampled,” Reuss advised. “In nonuniform fields, collect at least two plants from each type of plant moisture you encounter, but trying to maintain relative proportions that are found of each type in the field. Wrap the plant stems in wet paper and bring all your separate samples to the collection site nearest you.”

Russ noted that high-quality corn silage can be produced in many different types of storage structures. However, each structure type — bunker silo, silage bag, upright silo or silage pile — needs to have the corn silage at a certain range of whole-plant moisture to achieve the best possible results.

With questions about sample collection or silage harvest timing, please call Scott Reuss at the Marinette County UW-Extension office, 715-732-7510 or toll-free at 1-877-884-4408.