What if you could stretch your corn supplies a bit further or increase milk production just by re-evaluating how fine your corn is ground? Dave LaCount, dairy nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition, says that if corn is not ground properly, your herd could be losing milk performance potential.

Is your corn ground fine enough?“It is imperative that corn is adequately ground in order to ensure adequate energy availabilities and full utilization of corn,” LaCount says.

When evaluating corn, aim for an average particle size of 750 to 850 microns. Microns, or particle size, can easily be measured on farm with a hand-crank flour sifter. To do so, weigh out 10 ounces of ground corn and sift the sample until it appears that all particles and fines that can get through the screen have done so. Weigh out the remaining particles on the screen. Compare the weight of the material that remains on the screen with the following information and evaluate your grinding process accordingly:

• 1 ounce = 750 microns = excellent

• 2 ounces = 800 microns = excellent

• 3 ounces = 900 microns = good

• 4 ounces = 1,000 microns = fair

• 5 ounces = 1,200 microns = very poor

• >5 ounces = >1,200 microns = disaster

“Any corn below 22 percent moisture should be 600 to 700 microns,” LaCount notes. Samples of ground corn can also be submitted to a laboratory for more precise evaluation.