Corn silage moisture monitoring offered

Wisconsin State Farmer
It's time to test corn silage for moisture content.

UW-Extension of Marinette, Oconto, and Florence Counties announce the opportunity for corn silage producers to test their corn’s whole-plant moisture percentage.  Corn silage harvest will be starting soon, but individual farms & fields will experience significant differences in moisture due to the extreme moisture conditions this year.  Testing of corn fields for moisture is very important to planning both when to start chopping and what field order to progress through. 

All area producers are invited to utilize the sample collection days being offered in 2017: Tuesdays Sept. 12, 19, 26, and Friday, Oct. 6.  There are multiple sample collection points across the area to which producers can bring their samples.

Scott Reuss, Marinette County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent, will be present at the sites to chop and collect samples.  Two additional opportunities will be at events on Thursday, Sept. 14 and Sat., Sept. 16.

The complete schedule of collection sites and times can be found online at and click on the agriculture tab, or e-mail 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 Aurora Feed Mill - Stephenson Marketing (the Aurora site is Monday late afternoons).

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. In non-uniform 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.

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. If you have any 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.