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Relationships among plant moisture plant yield components and quality of whole plant maize zea mays silage

Relationships among plant moisture plant yield components and quality of whole plant maize zea mays silage

Ghana Journal of Agricultural Science 10(3): 205-209

The effect of harvest date on yield, moisture content and in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDDM) percent of 2 maize varieties recommended for use in Ghana was studied. Also examined were the relationships between DM [dry matter] yield, mositure content and quality. It is generally considered that maize should be harvested for whole plant corn silage when whole plant moisture level is 62-70%. These moisture levels favor desirable fermentation in the ensiling process and allow for DM intake by animals. In this study, 62-70% whole plant moisture occurred at 5-6 wk after anthesis. At this time, grain moisture was .apprx. 38-43%; maximum grain yield and maximum IVDDM percent were not yet attained. It would not be practical to delay harvest until maximum IVDDM since this would result in a reduction in total DM yield and poor ensiling due to the excessive dryness of the maize.

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