Quality counts during the transition period

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High-quality forage is one of those gifts that keeps on giving.

According to a study published in the November 2012 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science, the benefits of feeding corn silage with high fiber digestibility to pre-fresh cows continued long after the silage was removed from the diet and replaced with silage that had a lower fiber digestibility.

Three weeks before calving, the researchers fed the cows a diet containing about 47 percent corn silage, 18 percent straw, 7 percent mixed silage and 28 percent concentrate (dry matter basis).

“The bottom line to this research is that the milk yield benefits of feeding highly digestible corn silage to transition dairy cows may continue for at least 2 or 3 months after the silage is removed from the diet,” says Bill Weiss, professor and extension dairy specialist with The Ohio State University.

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