If buying ground corn, either in a mix or alone, you should be aware of how finely the corn is ground, recommends Chase Scott, extension dairy agent in Wytheville, Va.

Grinding corn finer increases the surface area available for digestion. If you decrease the grind size, you may be able to improve the energy utilization, thereby increasing milk production with the same amount of corn. Just be sure the grind isn’t too fine.

The following table shows the difference in performance between the same amount of cracked corn and ground corn in the same ration.



Cracked corn  

Ground corn

Milk (pounds per day) 69.2 75.3
Fat (percent)   3.59  3.73
Protein (percent) 3.19   3.29
Dry matter intake  49.1 50.7

Source: Farmland Industries

Rising feed cost and slowly increasing milk prices, along with the unknowns that ethanol production has thrown into the market, mean rations need more scrutiny.