A view of Kent Lock39s corn field half harvested for silage

A view of Kent Lock's corn field half harvested for silage.

“Silage yields are the most variable I have ever seen.”

Team FIN product tester and farmer Kent Lock from Avon, IL, sent us this report on his corn crop.

Green beans and corn turning yellow are the dominate views around Avon, IL, now. The later-maturing hybrids are perfect moisture for making silage.

Silage yields are the most variable I have ever seen. The chopper usually operates at 2.5 mph. This year where the corn had the misfortune of growing in a wet area, I can chop at 4 mph. In areas where the corn plants had perfect growing conditions, I have to slow to 1.8 mph. Overall silage yield seems to be 20% lower than I had expected.  

A few of the neighbors are harvesting corn. The only whole field average I have heard of was a large field of second-year corn that yielded 137 bu./acre (dry corn equivalent) with a harvest moisture of 18%. The whole field’s production was weighed as it was hauled to the elevator. The neighbor who harvested this thought 18% was a delightfully low moisture so he moved to harvest the adjacent field and found the moisture to be 28% and has since parked his combine. 

A grower friend of mine near Chicago expects to harvest several fields of corn that should exceed 200-bu./acre yield. There are some fields that are yielding >200 bu./acre in this area, but not very many. The early hybrids are yielding 135 to 160 bu./acre or 20% less than expected. 

Pockets of wind-damaged corn are easy to find. While travelling in western Iowa, we saw half of a county with flattened corn. The Avon area has several fields of windblown corn. 

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