Although there are a number of important steps in making good quality silage, if the crop is not harvested at the correct moisture content nothing done after that can improve the quality. In order to help farmers make the decision about when to chop their corn, the Holmes County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), OSU Extension Wayne County, and the Kidron, Mount Hope and Farmerstown Livestock Auction companies are sponsoring a series of corn silage moisture testing clinics. The clinics will offer farmers the opportunity to bring in corn plant samples for moisture testing and in addition to receiving plant moisture content information, they will also receive information about making high quality silage and a recommendation for harvest dates. Farmers will drop samples off at the Farmerstown, Mount Hope and Kidron auction sites between 9 am and 11:00 am, have a consultation about their harvest plans, get some silage production information and then will call in to receive their moisture content information and harvest date recommendations the following morning any time after 8:00 am. There will be a $15 charge per sample.
Collect 5 to 7 representative plants from the entire field, from areas with representative plant population and not from edge rows. Collect separate samples from areas that may have different dry down rates, such as swales, knolls. The moisture concentrations of plants can vary within a field and this should be considered when collecting your sample plants.
The dates and schedule for the clinics is as follows:
Tuesdays; August 25, September 1,8,15 at Farmerstown Auction, results available the following morning by calling the Holmes County SWCD office at: 330-674-2811.
Wednesdays; August 26, September 2, 9, 16 at Mount Hope Livestock Auction, results available the following morning by calling the Holmes County SWCD office at: 330-674-2811.
Thursdays; August 27, September 3, 10, 17 at Kidron Auction (brick building in front next to scale), results available the following morning by calling the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722.