We've been offered sweet corn from a road side stand that wasn't ready only once and that was from a couple neighborhood kids who got carried away with their picking. The kernel milk-line has often been used to determine when to harvest corn silage. Growers should monitor both crop condition and moisture as grain dries down after maturity. A number of sweet corn growers still harvest their crop by hand. To test for dryness, pop one kernel off the ear and place it on a hard surface.
Corn silage maturity at harvest has a dramatic impact on the nutritional value of individual hybrids. University of Wisconsin data over many years show a range in whole-plant moisture at one-half milk line of 52 to 72 percent with an average of 63 percent. They may actually be a better choice for farmers growing both small grains and corn.
Of course, the optimum harvest time will be affected by crop heat units (CHUs) during that period and may come earlier or later, depending on temperatures. Small shoots that appear alongside the base of a primary corn stalk are known as tillers.” These secondary stalks are actually a good sign; they mean that your plant is healthy and your soil is well-conditioned.
Pull ears downward and twist to take off stalk. Each ear may reach this stage at a different time on each plant, so you'll have to watch your plants closely. If you must harvest crops under these conditions, slow your ground speed and reduce the amount of corn that you would normally take in the combine.
In Delaware, nearly all the harvested feed corn is used to feed poultry or dairy cows. Physiological maturity is achieved when kernels cease accumulating dry matter. This problem is usually reduced after 3 months, when the kernels have a chance to absorb silage moisture, How Farms Work become softer and fracture more easily.
Golden Bantam - A home gardener favorite heirloom variety, Golden Bantam reaches 5-6 feet tall and produces an early sweet corn. Harvesting may need to start on the early side to ensure the field does not get overly dry by the time harvesting is complete. A survey of extension educators and specialists working with affected farmers indicated there is no simple solution to harvesting the downed corn.
If harvested stover amounts ranged from 1.8 to 2.7 DRY tons, then the total value of the nutrients removed from the field would range from about $11 to $16 per acre. However, by mid-June, soil temperatures in a no-till field are warm enough for rapid sweet corn seed germination and growth.
For consumers (and producers) there remains the delicious dilemma of whether to go with yellow sweet corn, a white variety like Silver Sweet or the best of both worlds with something like Butter and Sugar, which gives a mix of yellow and white kernels on the same ear.
The energy content of earlage varies with harvest method and the amount of roughage ensiled with the grain (Table 1). Harvest methods that collect a larger proportion of stalk (for example, all-crop headers) will produce a lower-energy earlage product than harvest methods that only ensile grain and a portion of the cob.
As a rule of thumb, percent moisture content of stover is twice that of the grain. (AP) - Neighbors came to help with the harvest after a 76-year-old farmer in southern Wisconsin died at home with corn still standing in his fields. Harvest Timing: Harvest timing may have a major effect on grain quality in some growing environments.