Management strategies for high moisture corn when molds are present

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Once you have identified and quantified the mold present, contacted your crop insurance agent to discuss potential alternatives for the crop, and the decision has been made that you will proceed to harvest and feed the crop as high moisture corn apply the following strategies.

Harvesting

  1. A well managed ensiling process that eliminates oxygen, with a subsequent drop in pH <4.5 will cause the existing mold to go dormant thus halting the further growth of molds,<br />but will not eliminate the molds and/or mycotoxins that were already present.

  2. If the grain is stored as high moisture shell corn (24%-32%), earlage (32-40%) or snaplage (32-40%), harvesting should be conducted at the earliest possible time to limit further mold growth, and to insure there is adequate moisture for the packing (critical to eliminate as much oxygen as possible) and fermentation processes. Preferred ranges of total moisture content are noted in parentheses.
    a. Note: Kernel moisture contents will typically be in the 26 to 34% range to achieve the 32 to 40% total moisture desired when harvesting as earlage or snaplage.

 

Storage

  1. The storage process should eliminate as much oxygen as possible through adequate processing, packing and sealing which will improve the rate and completeness of fermentation, and subsequent drop in pH, all of which will minimize the further proliferation of the existing molds in the ensiled mass.

  2. Additives to consider at time of harvest to aid in restricting further mold growth.
    a. In a "normal" delayed-harvest year where plants/kernels are immature/wet but display minimal mold growth (less than 10% of the ears that covers less than 25% of the ear) and ambient temperatures are at 40 degrees or higher at harvest time, 11B91 will effectively stabilize the crop through the fermentation process, restrict further mold growth when the feed is re-exposed to air at feedout, and provides improved digestibility of the crop as compared to non-inoculated.
    b. When molds are present and mold growth is above the minimum levels or ambient temperatures are below 40 degrees at harvest time, utilize a multi-acid product at manufacturer recommended rates that results in rapid acidification to limit mold growth.

Source: Pioneer Agronomy Sciences



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