Hybrids holding you back?

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Is your herd’s milk production in a rut? Could it have something to do with your corn hybrid choices?

Harvest “I preach forage quality,” says Stacy Nichols, a Vita Plus dairy technical specialist based in Winamac, Ind. “We’re working with our producers to select hybrids for NDF (neutral detergent fiber) digestibility.”

For the last three years, Nichols has been helping a dairy in northwest Indiana select corn silage varieties for better fiber digestibility.

“This is the second year that the dairy has fed the corn silage that we helped select,” he said at the Vita Plus Dairy Summit in December. “Two years ago, that was a 75-pound herd and couldn’t budge from that number. Now, they are at 90.”

If you find yourself in a similar situation, maybe it is time to reassess your hybrid selection criteria and put more emphasis on fiber digestibility.

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