Document Type


Publication Date



drought-stressed corn, harvesting, livestock/dairy producers, nitrates

Extension Number

ExEx 4017


Dairy Science


How to best harvest, store and use drought-stressed corn is a problem dairy and livestock producers may encounter at one time or another. The severity of the drought, cultural practices, plant growth, plant maturity and livestock feeding regimes are factors that influence how to harvest, store and feed most effectively the drought-stressed corn. Dairy and livestock producers attempting to salvage usable feed from their drought-stressed fields of corn must not only be wary of poisoning their livestock, but poisoning themselves as well. Accumulation of nitrates in drought-stressed corn can cause nitrate toxicity in animals and ensiled drought-stressed corn can produce poisonous nitrogen gases during the fermentation process, which may be lethal to livestock and humans.


Updated January 2006.