Should you leave ensiled feeds in storage longer?

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Corn that is harvested and stored either as whole-plant corn silage or high-moisture corn goes through fermentation while in the silo. After two to four weeks in storage, bacteria have converted the sugars to primarily lactic acid and the pH decline is nearly complete. At that point, the ensiled feeds are ready to be fed to cattle. However, research indicates that the digestibility of starch in these feeds continues to increase even after several months in the silo. If that is the case, would farms be better off to let ensiled feeds in storage longer before feeding to cattle?

University of Wisconsin-Extension county-based agriculture agents conducted a field study to evaluate changes in starch digestibility over the winter months on commercial dairy farms.

Opportunities to Improve Starch Digestibility on Dairy Farms takes a look at the results.

Source: Dairy Cattle Nutrition, UW-Extension

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