Long harvest window
Leafy Corn Silage Hybrids are bred to extend the ideal silage harvest window. They are selected for a slower and complimentary rate of dry down in both the plant and ear
components. The whole plant stays near the ideal silage moisture level of 65% moisture and 50% kernel milkline for a longer period of time compared to dual purpose hybrids. Dairy producers are more likely to chop and store the best quality feed with this extended harvest window.
Ration type adaptability
Many dairies balance and feed multiple rations for cows that are at diff erent stages of maturity and lactation. A Leafy Corn Silage Hybrid can form the basis of a ration that is fed to heifers, early lactation, late lactation, and dry cows.
Excellent feed quality
Leafy Corn Silage Hybrids make quality milk and help keep a herd healthy. A Leafy crop planted at recommended populations of 28,000-30,000 ppa should produce a feed with an appropriate balance of digestible fi ber and digestible starh for milk production, while providing adequate eff ective fiber for healthy rumination and effi cient rumen retention time.
High fiber digestibility
Leafy Corn Silage Hybrids have three
unique characteristics that boost their fiber digestibility:
They have a lower ear position on the stalk. The ear is the heaviest part of the plant, so the below-ear portion of the stalk must be heavily lignifi ed to support its weight. By lowering the ear, the more digestible above-ear portion of the stalk is increased while maintaining an adequate below ear stalk for good standability.
Leafi es that are grown at recommended populations have thicker, more digestible stalks since the proportion of soft inner stalk is increased relative to the lignifi ed outer rind.
Leafi es have two or more additional leaves above the ear and boast an excellent balance of eff ective and digestible fiber for the dairy ration, with no need to add straw!
High starch digestibility
Leafy Corn Silage Hybrids are bred to have ears
with digestible kernels. Unlike grain varieties, a Leafy ear is composed of large, fl at, soft kernels that dry down slowly on digestible cobs. The kernels have a higher proportion of fl oury white starch than the hard, vitreous yellow starch typical of grain kernels.
These larger, wetter fl oury kernels break up easily into smaller pieces during harvest and during the cow’s chewing. Smaller starch particles increase the sites of digestion for rumen microbes as well as increase the rumen retention time for a boost in milk production.
Research: milk study
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin conducted a feed study comparing a dual purpose hybrid to a Leafy Corn Silage Hybrid. Despite the dual purpose having a higher quantity of starch (40.7%vs 38.8%), they found that: “[w]hen fed as silage, the leafy corn hybrid used in this experiment supported greater DMI as well as higher milk and milk protein yields when compared to the grain corn hybrid.” They also observed more 4% FCM. (Clark et al, 2002)