Surprisingly, NDF digestion did not differ between the treatments. Shaver would have thought the opposite to be true, given the more aggressive rolling action during Shredlage™ harvest, but he’s cautious not to read too much into these findings until more research can be done.
A 2-pound advantage
So how did the cows perform on the Shredlage™? In a nutshell, pretty favorably. Here’s a look at performance:
A LOOK AT THE DETAILS
The first chart below shows the self-propelled forage harvester settings and kernel processing scores at feed out for Shredlage™ vs. kernel-processed corn silage. The second chart compares the particle length of the two silage treatments at feed out. It shows that the Shredlage™ technique yielded more coarse material (31.5% vs. 5.6% on the top screen of a particle separator box.)
As the feeding period progressed, the difference in milk production between the two treatment groups really spread out, Shaver says. In fact, during the final week of treatment, the cows fed Shredlage™ boasted a 4.4-pound advantage in fat-corrected milk.
Overall, these results are good news for producers like Trierweiler who want to ramp up the amount of forage in the diet, yet not lose digestibility, milk production or valuable milk components. He’s currently at 60 percent forage and looking to go higher. Will this technique help him get there? The research seems to suggest he’s on the right track.
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