This 2103 Forage Analysis Super Bowl (FASB) marked another great FASB success for Byron Seeds, our customers and our dealers. Two entries were grand champions and a corn silage entry won the “Quality Counts” award tor the best Total Tract NDF Digestibility (TTNDFD).
This particular award included both the BMR and the conventional corn silage entries. A total of 25 Byron Seeds entries were made with a majority making it to the finals. In terms of both the number of finalists and of winners, our 2013 performance at the FASB topped our achievements in any of the previous six years in which we competed.
This year, we again had four of the corn silage finalists (four out of 10) and had our highest total of haylage finalists (seven out of 10). Our previous bests were 18 total finalists, six haylage finalists, and two category winners.
Mining the results further, the Masters Choice (MC) corn silages were about 4 percentage units higher in starch than the BMRs. However, one aberrant BRM sampled raised the average by 0.5%. MC had the highest starch of all finalists (both BMR and conventional) and the second-highest milk per ton. Interestingly, No. 1 and No.2 were conventional. Masters Choice also was awarded the “Quality Counts” award for the highest TTNDFD (Total Tract NDF Digestibility) over all entrants.
The following table shows some of the differences between grass and alfalfa. In categories where all the samples were all grass or all alfalfa (Commercial Hay and Grass Hay), the results are on one line. Where the forages were either Alfalfa or Alfalfa/Grass, the results are on one row.
The biggest differences were in comparing the Commercial Hay category to the Grass Hay category as you might expect. There is a little bit of grass in some of the commercial hay, but it didn’t change the averages. The real kicker was that there were two atypical grass samples that were way below the rest. Our differences were already very good, but if those riper, common (one was listed as “local grasses”) are eliminated the NDF-d goes up to an average of 70.57 from 67.26! From the best commercial hay makers, the alfalfa averaged 43.33 NDF-d. The quality differences are sharp. Milk/Ton differences are from 3121 for alfalfa to 3341 for grass.
The balges were all listed as pure alfalfa (even though some had some mystery grasses in the sample) – expect for Daniel Olson’s winner. If you compare Daniel Olson’s two balage entries to the rest there are again sharp differences to the 9 alfalfa entries. His second entry should have been in second place, but only one entry per farm was awarded. The NDF-d’s were 67.26 for Daniel’s and 53.76 for the rest. There was some grass in the other entries, since the NDF-d’s were higher than the pure alfalfa samples in other categories. The Milk/Ton was 3526 for Daniel’s entries compared to 3323 for lowest. Daniel’s entries were made of balage from Grass Works Grazing Mix and secondly 502H and AS6401 Sorghum-Sudan.
In the Dairy Haylage category, eight dairy farmers were able to get alfalfa entries with an amazing 55% to over 58% NDF-d. This drove the average of the pure alfalfa samples to 52.81% compared to the grass/alfalfa average of 55.14%. A would be entrant was kicked out for adding sugar to his sample! I just know that our dairy alfalfa haylage are unusually good even, very very good. However, our grass/alfalfa samples still had comfortable lead in NDF-d of over 2.5%.
A total $4,000 was awarded by the FASB and an additional $9,800 by Byron Seeds ($100 to each finalist and $100 to the submitting Byron dealer, plus $1,000 to each winner and $1,000 to the submitting dealer). Several dealers were also the farmer. Here is to another year of amazing results – and to all of our farmers – contact us on how to enter for next year!