Since the product was first introduced in 2007, more and more dairy producers across North America are finding out for themselves the exact benefits of Pioneer brand 11CFT corn silage inoculant.

When they see what 11CFT can do for them, they tend to continue using it.

“In a difficult economy, these dairy producers are finding it’s all about cutting-edge technology and its related value,” says Kyle Whitaker, Pioneer marketing manager for forage additives. “We look at who’s been using this product, and we’re seeing repeat business. It’s a message of value. Not only are pounds of milk per cow going up, but there’s also the matter of being able to pull back on grain as an energy source when costs are a critical issue.”

The experiences of three producers speak for themselves. They explain why they continue to incorporate 11CFT-treated corn silage into their herds’ feed rations.

More milk, no reheatingissues

Lance Rovers and his father, Dutch, milk 1,070 cows in upstate New York near the town of Chazy. Lance says his own on-farm trials have confirmed that 11CFT works for them.

“We used it on all of our 2008 corn silage, about 14,000 tons,” Lance says. “We saw a 2- to 3-pound positive response. Then, about three weeks ago, we ran out of 2008 corn and used a little of the 2007 we had left. We immediately lost 4 pounds of milk. We gained it back when we went back on the 11CFT-treated corn.”

When 11CFT first came out, Lance conducted his own trial with 1,200 tons of silage. Before he tried the 11CFT, he was looking for a way to get more out of his corn silage and not have to grow all brown midrib (BMR) corn.

“We didn’t have any reheating issues … it all feeds out cool,” he says, noting he feeds a 60 percent corn silage diet. “We’ve also had no problems at all with digestibility.”

In addition to his dairy operation, Lance and his father own and raise 2,700 acres of corn, alfalfa and soybeans. “Last year we treated all our corn silage with 11CFT, and it will be the same this year,” he says.

Faith in Pioneer technology

Dairy production is a family affair for Joe van Lieshout; his father, Henry; and his four brothers; Paul, Steve, Phil and Pat. They own a 700-cow Holstein dairy herd near Verona, N.Y., and farm 1,000 acres.

Joe was one of the first in his area to use 11CFT. He’s been using it for more than three years. “What sold me was that even though Pioneer didn’t offer BMR corn, my Pioneer sales rep told me this would take me one step closer to BMR, with more flexibility,” he says. “I could plant any kind of corn or grain type and add 11CFT when I harvested it.”

The first year Joe tried the 11CFT, he treated one bunk with the inoculant and one with another inoculant. “When we went to the bunk with the 11CFT, our cows went up in milk about 4 pounds,” he says. “We’ve continued to improve milk output.”

Joe realizes this is a tough economy and that 11CFT is an investment. “I’m putting a lot of faith in Pioneer professionals to tell me that this is going to work and is going to make me money,” he says. “I’m using it now and plan to continue using it.”

Experimenting to improve results

Jim Bergen and his two brothers milk 2,300 cows at two sites in Odessa, N.Y., 1,700 at one site and 600 at the other. They also farm about 750 acres. Last year was the first year he tried 11CFT.

“We made two bunks, one treated and one not,” Jim says. “The 11CFT bunk was pretty much all one variety of corn. The other was a mixture of longer-season corn.”

Jim says they were feeding from the untreated bunk for about a month and then switched to the 11CFTtreated bunk. Milk production rose immediately.

“However, we went down a little in butterfat, so we increased our forage level from 62 percent to 66 percent, feeding about twothirds corn silage and one-third haylage,” Jim says. “With 11CFT, we went up about 5 pounds in production but lost a few points in butterfat.”

Coming back again

Jim says he’ll use 11CFT again this year and continue to work on ration proportions.

“There’s definitely something there. The 11CFT is doing something, and we’re trying

it again,” he says. “We took a couple of samples of acetic acid and didn’t notice any digestibility issues.”

He’s currently running onsite trials with

11CFT in one bunk and another inoculant in another bunk.

“Sometimes we just need to listen to the cows a little more,” Jim says. “If milk levels and production levels change, we’ll change the forage levels more, but we’re planning to continue using the 11CFT product.”