Black Layer Helps Guide Corn Harvest Timing

September 21, 2021 | By Rupp Seeds

Screen shot image of SeedSCOOP publication discussing how the black layer helps guide corn harvest timing.

Corn kernels achieve black layer or physiological maturity when a black film develops at the tip of a kernel. The black film or layer seals the kernel from further development or increase in test weight. The kernel moisture content at black layer formation usually ranges from 25% to 40%, and averages around 30% moisture.

When you are preparing to harvest your corn crop, keep these key points in mind:

  • Physiological maturity in corn is determined by kernels reaching black layer. 
  • Timing of corn maturation can be greatly affected by environmental issues. 
  • Grain moisture content should be monitored once black layer is achieved. 
  • Harvesting should take place at a moisture content that balances harvest losses and grain drying costs.

Learn more in this issue of SeedScoop.

Black Layer Helps Guide Corn Harvest Timing