Document Type


Publication Date



immature corn, frost damaged corn, ensiling

Extension Number

ExEx 8150


Plant Science


Immature corn is corn that fails to reach adequate maturity and can not be sold at normal, prevailing market values without steep price discounts. Corn that is drought stressed, heat unit deficient, water logged, or frost damaged meets this definition. Corn is uniquely suited to silage making. But when corn is damaged or killed by frost before it reaches the desired maturity for ensiling, the stage of maturity at the time of frost is very critical. If frost is early and green leaves remain on plants it may be best to let the crop stand, as it will continue to accumulate dry matter, until the whole plant moisture content nears 63 to 68%. Partially frosted corn appears deceptively drier than unfrosted corn at the same moisture content. If plants are killed by frost at an immature stage they will contain higher moisture content than is recommended for ensiling. They will dry down very slowly.