Understanding moisture level in corn is key to determining your harvest schedule; corn that is ready to be harvested will be at the perfect point in drydown for starch content and digestibility. To determine when a field is nearing that point, growers should conduct moisture testing.

Moisture testing should be done roughly two weeks before a field would typically be ready for harvest based on factors like hybrid maturity and weather. Growers should pull stalks from multiple locations in the field.

Pulled stalks should then be run through the chipper and sent to a lab for testing. It is possible to test corn using a drying oven, food dehydrator or microwave. Your Pioneer sales professional can help you implement these non-lab testing techniques.

The exact moisture content percentage desired will vary based on your storage structure but in general, corn at 62 to 68 percent moisture has the highest levels of starch and fiber digestibility — and will also give the highest overall yield. To learn more about moisture testing and harvest best practices, visit the Silage Zone.