In episode 13 of "Corn College TV," season 2, Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer explains the maturity stages of corn from milk to black layer.
Bauer gives the steps to identify moisture levels in your field when evaluating ear maturity.
"Once the corn starts to dent, it starts to develop a milk line," she says. "Break an ear in half and look for the milk line—it’s where you’ll see the hardened part of the kernel that then turns gradually lighter. It’s where the kernel transfers from milky white to firm."
At milking stage, the corn is typically 50% moisture. At the black layer stage, corn is typically 30% moisture. It takes 10 to 14 days for corn to go from milk to black layer.
"Then the drydown for the crop will depend on the environment and hybrid characteristics," Bauer explains.
Learn more in episode 13 of the second season of "Corn College TV."