It is that time of year again where we peruse corn seed catalogs, attempting to pick out the best varieties for your farm. They all look perfect; but are they.
As we are growing dairy forage, quality not just yield, needs to be considered. The fiber portion makes up half of the dry matter so a slight change in digestibility can have a significant impact on potential milk production. The other factor to consider is the percentage of the total yield that is starch. You need to be cautious with the starch number because a very hard starch will look good on paper but not milk as well even with processing and long fermentation times. A softer kernel will process easier and give more energy to the cow and not to the birds picking at the manure. With milk price down, farmers are grumbling about high seed cost, but in the big picture it usually is a small part of the whole corn silage yield component.