All corn isn’t equal


Alvaro Garcia

Corn grain is the energy standard among all feedstuffs fed to cattle. It is an energy-dense feed, second only to oils, fats, or other feedstuffs rich in lipids.

Corn has traditionally been priced and sold per ton or by the bushel. That’s because it has long been a feedstuff with homogeneous nutrient concentration, containing approximately 9% to 10% protein, 60% starch, and 3% oil on a dry matter (DM) basis. Some modern corn hybrids differ significantly and contain 8% protein, around 70% starch, and almost 4% oil.

Some modern corn hybrids differ significantly

However, it’s not just the starch concentration that’s important. The true value is really found when measuring starch levels digested by the cow.

Prolamins are proteins associated with the starch in corn and other cereal grains protecting the starch granules from enzymatic degradation. Prolamin in corn (zein) comprises 50% to 60% of all protein in the kernel and is cross-linked, encapsulating starch into water-tight globules.

Continue reading this article published in Hoard’s Dairyman.