By: Mark Kirk
I often get questions concerning cob color, and whether it makes a difference in silage nutritive values. In fact, someone just this week wanted to see any data I had. So I reached into my silage files for 2016 and averaged two hybrids with white cobs and two hybrids with pink cobs.
To get one thing straight cob color is determined by the hybrid's parents. The parents of hybrids with white cobs both have white cobs and hybrids with pink cobs can have parents with one white one red, one white one pink, or two pink cobs.
So, what did …
"Lab Report Refresher" by: Mark Kirk
“Well its all Greek to me!” as our pastor reminded us Sunday this statement conveys the idea of the difficulty to interpret something written in a whole ‘nother language. Ever feel that way about a silage analysis from a forage lab? With all the abbreviations and numbers, what is it really telling us? Let’s sort it out.
Most feed tests are separated into 5 major categories: proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, minerals, and calculations. Within those categories there are several measurements and calculations and some times there is more than one number for a particular line analysis. Which …
When it comes to corn silage there will always be a debate about which is most important, yield or quality. Let’s be real honest, the “crop” guys say yield and the “cow” guys say quality. The arguments go something like this… Yield is most important: you have to have something to feed. Quality is most important: you can’t just feed “trees”. The truth of the matter is that both are important. There are obvious aspects of both that make sense. Of the two, yield is the most controllable and least variable, so it is the easiest to deal with in …
Quick tips for feeding floury corn hybrids:
Consider total starch load and adjust energy levels
-Rapid digestion increases of up to 50% more starch being digested.
-Slower passage rates 11%/hr for dry floury grain 4%/hr for high moisture
floury compared to 21% for dry vitreous grain and 10%/hr for high moisture vitreous
Consider protein levels
- Floury corn increases microbial MP because of quicker ruminal digestion
Protect milk components
- Too much starch load negatively effects microbe population
- Over processed floury grain could lead to acidosis if not careful to reduce total starch in ration
Kernel texture (hardness or softness) affects the digestibility of its starch.
An independent lab tested several varieties of Masters Choice corn for kernel texture. Several physical qualities were tested to determine the kernel texture. The results of these tests showed the genetic floury varieties testing softest.
On the same sample Rock River Labs, in Wisconsin, also conducted an in situ starch digestion study. Before the study, samples were ground to pass a 6mm screen, dried and then incubated in single bags in 3 different Holstein dairy cows. This process tests for 7-hour digestion, estimating ruminal starch degradation. The physically softer corns had …