Corn silage

Effects of delayed sealing on corn silage fermentation

Mercedes Gonzalez & Fernando Diaz

Silages contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) that arise from fermentation of organic matter by yeasts and heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria (LAB), enterobacteria or clostridiums, which produce acetic, propionic or butyric acids, and alcohols such as ethanol or propanol. Other VOC are esters and aldehydes. The concentration of VOC in silage varies depending on each forage type, storage conditions and the use of additives.

The VOC present in silages can impart strange smells and result in feed rejection decreasing feed intake, reducing production, and altering cow metabolism.

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Cornfield

Optimizing plant density improves corn silage quality

Alvaro Garcia

Good corn silage hybrids have high yields, high energy, high digestibility, and good animal performance. Critical to maximize silage yields is the selection of the right variety. Similarly, agronomical practices can change not only corn silage yield per hectare but also its nutritive value.

With lower corn silage yields, there is a greater need for livestock supplementation, which increases feed costs. Since starch is deposited in the kernels, the amount of grain in the ration is associated with the energy content of the silage. In the past, the rule of thumb for the corn silage grain-to-forage ratio was 50:50.

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Corn

Evaluation of leafy-floury corn silage hybrids in early lactation cows

Alvaro Garcia

Corn silage is one of the main forage sources in intensive dairy production systems around the world. Reasons for this preference are its energy concentration compared to other forages as well its high yield per hectare when growth conditions are adequate. Through the years corn genetics has been improved based on certain characteristics such as improve energy yielding nutrients (i.e. starch, lysine, oil) as well as overall increases in the digestibility of its organic matter (i.e. waxy, leafy, low lignin). Good corn silage hybrids have high yields, high energy, high digestibility, and adequate animal performance.

Since starch is deposited in the kernels, the amount of grain in the ration is associated with the energy content of the silage. The energy value of corn silage is highly dependent on the content and digestibility of starch and fiber components. Fiber is mostly fermented in the reticulorumen and the products of its fermentation are utilized by rumen microorganisms.

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Can we improve corn silage quality by applying foliar fungicide?

Francisco E. Contreras Govea, Ph.D

Corn for silage is one of the most important crops to feed the dairy and beef cattle. In the United States, on average, 2.492 millions of ha are harvested and ensiled (Ferraretto et al., 2018). Some of the advantage of corn over other forages are lower harvesting cost, high yield per area, and the possibility of harvesting either for grain or silage depending on the market price. In addition, corn for silage has high energy value and provides effective fiber to maintain rumen health. Therefore, any new technology or alternatives to improve the nutritive value of corn for silage is worth it.

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Effect of corn silage fiber digestibility on dairy cow performance

Fernando Diaz

Digestible fiber is an important nutrient in corn silage fed to lactating dairy cows. A recent metanalysis published by Danish researchers reported that across studies (29 experiments and 96 diets), an increment of one percentage unit in the fiber digestibility of corn silage increased daily milk yield by 0.185 lb. per day and bodyweight gain by 12 g per day.

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