CRIVITZ/COLEMAN — Extension of Marinette and Oconto counties is again poised to assist area livestock producers as they plan and start corn silage harvest. There will be a number of events at which producers will be able to bring corn samples to have analyzed for whole plant moisture. Corn silage harvest will start soon, but individual farms and fields will experience significant differences in moisture because of the extreme moisture conditions this year. 

Two events are co-sponsored with private entities. The first of these is Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crivitz Feed Mill. The second is Sept. 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Charapata Seed Sales plot site located at the intersection of County Trunk B and 9th Road.

There will also be regional collection events Sept. 12, 18 and 25; and Oct. 1 and 8. Not all collection sites will be utilized every day, however, so people may refer to the full collection schedule, found on the web at http://marinette.extension.wisc.edu/ and click on the agriculture tab, or email Scott Reuss at sreuss@marinettecounty.com.

Producers can also refer to the most recent Marinette County UW-Extension Agriculture Newsletter. Collection sites include the Middle Inlet Town Hall, Fendryk Farms in Town of Beaver, Kuchta Farms in Town of Grover, Peterson Farms in Town of Lena, WOCO Radio Station and Curt Kohls Farm in Town of Gillett.

Sample collection is very important to getting good test results. However, this is difficult, as there is often moisture differences within fields, as well as across fields. Because of these differences, samples should be collected from all fields and areas of fields that have different varieties or growing conditions. In uniform fields, collect at least five plants in a W-shaped pattern from the area being sampled. In non-uniform fields, collect at least two plants from each type of plant moisture you encounter, but trying to maintain relative proportions that are found of each type in the field. Wrap the plant stems in wet paper and bring all your separate samples to the collection site nearest you.

High-quality corn silage can be produced in many different types of storage structures. However, each structure type — bunker silo, silage bag, upright silo or silage pile — needs to have the corn silage at a certain range of whole-plant moisture to achieve the best possible results.

If people have any questions about sample collection or silage harvest timing, they may call Reuss at the Marinette County UW-Extension office, 715-732-7510 or toll-free at 1-877-884-4408.