Southwest Wisconsin Crop Report: August 22, 2012

Corn

Earlier this week, many local growers started chopping their corn silage. I’m hearing anywhere moisture ranging from 55% to 80%. When harvesting corn silage, it’s very important not to harvest it too wet. Optimal moisture for corn silage is between 65% and 75% moisture. If it’s too dry, the feed will not ferment correctly.  If it’s too, wet the feed will juice causing it to loose many of the main nutrients a cow would need.  Click here for a great article on Corn Silage Manage, covering the importance of taking silage at the right time.

Some of the corn fields I was in this week made me wonder how soon it will be when we start harvesting for grain. There are several fields in Southwest Wisconsin that have become full dent and starting to dry down. The driest corn I have found thus far is LH 5039 SS coming in at 31% moisture.

Soybeans

Over the last four days, parts of Southwest Wisconsin received a small shot of rain (about 0.2”) that will help fill out our soybeans pods. I would recommend growers take the time to scout soybeans fields to see how they look. Considering all the stress plants have been through this summer, it looks like the yields will be surprisingly good. (NASS is estimating yields to average just 5 bushel lower than last season.) Many plants have 3 bean pods, ranging from 36 to 42 pods per plant

Alfalfa

Many growers harvested their 4th crop of alfalfa last week. Many growers have a feeling that they’ll be able to harvest a 5th crop on fields that they plan to rotate out next season. A handful of growers this past week that fall seeded alfalfa. Click here to read how fall seeding alfalfa in Wisconsin can be a great benefit.

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