If your silage corn gets too dry for optimum silage fermentation, chop it finer than usual, pack more than usual and consider blending a green forage with it, suggests Bruce Anderson.
“Many cornfields currently are too dry for best silage making,” says the University of Nebraska Extension forage agronomist. “Adding water to increase moisture content is next to impossible. It takes about 7 gallons of water for each ton of silage to raise moisture content just one point. Even if you have enough water, the chopped corn can’t absorb it fast enough to do any good.”
Blending it with a wetter feed like fresh alfalfa, forage sorghum, green soybeans or later-planted corn that’s still green may solve the problem. “It can be tricky to get the right combination, but it can produce excellent silage,” he says.
The main goal is to minimize oxygen in the silage. To help accomplish that, adjust chopper knives to cut more finely and pack the crop extra well, “even if the chopped corn seems to spring right back up at you.”