Select corn hybrids with a high grain content for B.C.
Mar 15Select corn hybrids with a high grain content for B.C.
Crop growing conditions in the Pacific Northwest are ideal for growing forages but not ideal for growing grain crops. In order to supplement the energy needed in dairy rations corn silage makes an excellent crop. There is a range of energy values that can occur in corn silage. If a producer’s goal is to have maximum yield, then later maturing corn hybrids will provide the highest yield but may not provide the supplemental energy that he is looking for. For maximum energy content select a hybrid that has proven to yield a high percentage of grain over time like Maizex LF 755 RR. The producer needs to strike a balance between high yield and high energy. Corn hybrids with high grain content will have a higher percentage of energy available from starch. Starch is highly digestible and will help high producing dairy cows meet their peak milk production and maintain body weight.
The example below could be comparing Maizex hybrid LF 806R (high yield, later maturing, lower grain) versus Maizex hybrid LF 755 RR (good yield, proper maturity, higher grain percentage). For a 100 cow dairy herd this could result in a saving of several thousand dollars per year. Make sure if you switch from one hybrid to another or a different bunker that you rebalance your ration to take into account the differences in starch content.