Corn that has suffered severe drought damage is sometimes harvested as silage instead of as grain. It can still have significant feed value if harvested at the right stage. See the article "Alternatives for Drought-damaged Corn—Grain Crop or Forage" for harvesting recommendations.
"There are other things you should consider before you decide to harvest drought-damaged corn for forage or silage purposes," says William Edwards, ISU Extension economist.
Contact crop insurance agent before harvesting any damaged corn
First and foremost, any damaged acres that are covered by crop insurance should be viewed by an insurance adjustor and released by the insurance company before harvesting takes place. Whether it's your droughty corn you want to harvest or corn that belongs to someone else, the crop insurance agent should be the first person you or the owner of the standing crop should contact.
Grain producers may be willing to sell corn standing in the field to be harvested by a livestock producer or custom operator. The buyer and the seller must agree on a selling price.
"The seller would need to receive a price that would give at least as good a return as could be received from harvesting the corn as grain," says Edwards. "The buyer would need to pay a price that would not exceed the feeding value of the corn. Within that range the price can be negotiated."
What is drought-damaged corn worth if harvested as silage?
Edwards offers the following explanation and guidelines on how you can figure out how much to pay your neighbor for drought-damaged corn.