Defining Corn Silage Quality

Defining Corn Silage Quality

Recent research out of Penn State has been trying to bring more clarity to what defines corn silage quality. Fiber digestibility has been a key number many people refer to as they discuss the attributes of good quality corn silage. The assumption made is higher fiber digestibility produces more milk. However, fiber digestibility alone does not determine how well cows will perform.

The level of starch and its’ digestibility is gaining more interest when evaluating corn silage quality. Also, the kernel processing score may be a quality parameter since it has been associated with higher milk production.

The ultimate result is how forage quality and nutrition affect the dairy producer’s bottom line. One single metric does not define corn silage quality. Based on the data, no one farm had the ideal forage quality for all metrics; meeting the industry standards for fiber and starch content along with their digestibilities and ideal kernel processing score and particle size.  This is not to minimize the need for good quality forage, but good management and nutrition can overcome some forage quality deficiencies.

To read the full article on silage quality, click here.

Tags: Corn Silage