Corn School: Managing silage quality in wet growing conditions


The rain has come, and the corn crop is advancing fast. The crop is between tassel and silking stages, and the concern now is how to manage the crop for silage production. Will disease have an impact on the feed quality?

Here to answer that is Albert Tenuta, OMAFRA plant pathologist, who joins Bernard Tobin for this episode of RealAgriculture’s Corn School, where the duo talk about managing silage quality in these wet growing conditions.

When assessing the crop for the tell-tale signs of trouble, Tenuta says to look at the overall health of the leaves and any foliar leaf diseases that are present. From a silage standpoint a stem disease such as stalk rust, is also an important one to look for that can impact feed quality.

There are two contributions to a DON test to think about, since the whole plant is going to be harvested: the amount of DON from the ear, and the amount in the plant.

Get in with a fungicide, says Tenuta. “If you’re concerned about feed quality, there are lots of products out there that can help us in terms of making sure we have the biomass that we need and the quality on that side,” he says. “If you’re concerned about DON and mycotoxins then again, there are a number of products that are targeting that aspect and reducing the amount of DON in there.”

Tenuta says to target tassel to silk timing for applying fungicides if you’re concerned about quality, and silk timing is the best time to control mycotoxin accumulation.

Check out the video for more from Tenuta, including the best timing for disease prevention and for mycotoxin control:

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Corn School (view all)Season 10 (2021) Episode 14

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