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?

“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 add more emphasis on fiber digestibility.

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NY  |  January, 30, 2013 at 08:56 AM

What types of hybrids have higher fiber digestibility? That kind of information would have been really helpful to farmers. An increase of 15lbs is a huge jump!

idaho  |  February, 09, 2013 at 07:33 PM

i agree with you Art. our firm works with many producers across 7 states and we do indeed encourage the use of higher digestible corn hybrids. but to try to insinuate that there is a 15 lb response just from changing a corn hybrid is ridiculous. it would give those folks much more credibility if they would share "the rest of the story" maybe days in milk dropped 40 days, they introduced a couple of other management changes, etc. i guess every one is trying to match up with Obama stories. we typically find a solid 3-5 lbs milk in a switch of 15 lbs dry matter to BMR on a early lactation group.

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