It is important that maize is not harvested until mature. Maize harvested at < 28% dry matter requires a larger and more rapid pH drop to preserve nutrients. Low dry matter maize can also result in nutrient loss through effluent.
The target dry matter for maize silage should be >28% to maximise starch content. High dry matter crops require aerobic stability to minimise any loss at feed out and storage.
With high dry matter maize silage, (>28%) the initial drop in pH is rapid due to the amount of water soluble carbohydrate (sugar) available to the bacteria.
This leads to efficient fermentation and preservation of crop nutrients. During feed out, these crops will be susceptible to aerobic deterioration and growth of undesirable yeast and mould, which leads to heating clamps and high levels of waste.