The sales season is upon us. Dairy farmers are inundated by salesmen pretending to be silage experts without grasping or understanding quality corn silage.
Many facets go into producing good silage:
• Good Agronomy Program
• Consistent High Yielding Varieties
• Consistent Dry Matter
• Consistent High Starch Content of High Quality (Digestibility)
• Consistent Fiber Content & Good Digestibility
• Processing Scores
• Proper Packing
• Good Bunker Management
At Prairie Estates Genetics, we believe defining and understanding quality sets us apart from others who want to sell you seed corn. Many do not even know what they have or know how their numbers were evaluated. We do.
PEG Senior Forage Manager, Carl Key spraying different fertilizers on silage plots
to analyze hybrid response based on tissue samples and forage analysis.
#1 – The differences in fiber and starch content between NIR and wet chemistry can be vast. We use only wet chemistry, which is the most accurate but expensive. Why? Because particle size distribution differences between hybrids of both fiber and starch are difficult to detect by NIR. With today’s harvest equipment, we also see differences in processing scores that NIR does not pick up. Testing for digestibility using NIR is even more inaccurate.
#2 – When we have our varieties tested for digestibility, we use only Tilley Terry Invitro. The type of methodology differences between AnKom and Tilley Terry Invitro are very different. Using the AnKom system, bags are circulated through rumen fluid. The bags are porous with tiny holes to allow fluid to wash through silage. Some silage is lost and affects the weight of material that is reweighed. Using the Tilley Terry Invitro system, silage is weighed and put into a glass flask with rumen fluid and shook up for 24 or 30 hours, then reweighed, thus, resulting in no loss of silage. This system is much more accurate and expensive.
#3 – Prairie Estates Genetics will be the only seed company adjusting data from hybrid trials to reflect adjustments for moistures to a standard of 35% DM for fiber content, starch content, digestibility, and Kd. Adjustments for moisture correction for yields are already being made, but not for content or quality. Without those numbers, the data is virtually useless.
#4 – We make sure that lag times are 2.5 hours or less.
#5 – We make sure that the lab is using a specific Buffer Fluid. Digestion can decrease quickly is not inoculated with enough and correct buffer.
#6 – Rumen Dynamic Digestible Carbohydrates (RDDC) is our measuring tool for hybrid evaluation. It utilizes moistures content, multiple pools of fiber and starch digestibility, diet Kp, body weight, and several other factors to project percent of RDDC by DM.
Several flawed equations are being used today to evaluate silage. None compare to RDDC.
A. Milk 2006 – Milk/acre Milk/ton very poor, no consideration for starch quality.
B. TTNDFd – Total Track Digestibility: Corresponds with 48-hour digestion rates. The fiber is long gone – poor equation.
C. uNDF – Gives accurate indigestible fiber numbers but is inadequate for hybrid selection. We have seen projections where differences in uNDF of 2 points projects intakes and milk projections over 2#?
Prairie Estates Genetics has spent the last 30 years working exclusively with Dairymen. Planting PEG hybrids for 2021 could be the best investment you make. Leadership, Consistency, and Quality…No one else can make that claim.
Senior Forage Manager
Prairie Estates Genetics