This item has been supplied by a forage marketer and has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hay & Forage Grower.

Due to delayed planting in some areas, some immature corn may have been harvested for silage this year. The greatest concern with feeding immature corn silage is the relatively higher moisture content. The nutrient composition of the silage will vary with the stage of kernel development. Higher levels of soluble sugars should be considered when feeding high levels in lactating dairy rations.

When feeding immature corn silage, producers should keep in mind these three management practices:

  • The silage will be wetter than normal and the sugar content will be higher; thus, this silage is a prime candidate for poor fermentation, risk of increased runoff, increased dry matter losses and poor bunklife.
  • High-moisture silage can have extended fermentation, which can lead to these anti-nutritional factors that can have a negative impact on the palatability and dry matter intake of the silage:
    • Increased acidity
    • Increased proteolysis (protein breakdown)
    • Production of negative fermentation end products, including butyric acid, ammonia and amines
  • Immature corn killed by a frost will be more prone to bacterial mold and yeast contamination since the plants’ protective mechanisms (sheaths, husks) can be damaged, allowing easier entry by fungi.

Learn more about silage feedout best practices at the Silage Zone® resource.

The foregoing article is provided for informational purposes only. Please consult with your Pioneer sales professional or DuPont Pioneer livestock specialist for suggestions specific to your operation. Product performance is variable and subject to a variety of environmental, disease and pest pressures. Individual results may vary.