World Forage Analysis Superbowl 2011 Rankings

You are looking at the best in the world. These tables list the finalists at the World Forage Analysis Superbowl competition. The Forage Superbowl at World Dairy Expo is the premier testing ground for the forage industry.

These results irrefutably demonstrate that Byron Seeds products are among the best forages in the world, again, just like in 2010, (and every year before that.) What does this mean for you? Winning the Superbowl isn’t about trophies, it’s about picking money makers for the farm industry. To have success on your farm, you need the best available forages, and Byron Seeds does that for you. Through research, we work hard to find the best forages because your success is important to us.

Contact us and be part of the winning team.

Myco Seed Treat

Myco is a complete microbial seed treatment package that includes a high concentration of dormant beneficial microorganisms and an initial food source. Included are free-living and symbiotic bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, algae and mycorrhizal fungi. Once the seed is planted,

the microbes start to grow and multiply. The crop benefits by the beneficial microorganisms freeing up nutrients and extending the reach of the crop root. In addition, they compete against detrimental microbes. The microbes benefit from living off root exudates (organic compounds and sugars). The end result is better soil cycling, more uniform stands and increased plant growth.

KingFisher Myco has been tailored to forage species, but does not include or replace Rhizobium inoculants which are needed for proper legume nitrogen fixation. Myco Seed Treat is compatible with Rhizobium inoculants and most other seed treatments.

All of KingFisher’s mixtures are treated with Myco Seed Treat to improve stand establishment. Myco is approved for use on organic operations by the USDA.

Beef Production in the Midwest 4 Shortfalls and 6 Steps to Sucess – by Ernest Weaver

The Midwest has long been known for quality beef production, but profitable beef production has not been the automatic right of Midwestern farmers. Let’s look at a bit of history and try to learn lessons that will help us produce quality beef at a profit.

My friend, Steve Wallace, Senior Forage Agronomist for Barenbrug USA, will tell us that in the 50’s and 60’s the Midwest not only finished most of the calves it produced, but also IMPORTED cattle from the West! The 70’s and 80’s however, saw this scenario reversed. By the 90’s, many of our calves and the grain to feed them were being shipped to the West and Southwest. The Midwest is on the rise again. We have the feed right here, don’t we?? Why not keep the industry here? Isn’t finishing our own cattle a profit “slam dunk”? Beware though,finishing cattle can be very profitable, but if we are not prudent it can finish our bank account!

I would like to point out 4 mistakes many in the Midwest beef industry have made.

  1. Failure to provide quality pasture for brood cows and calves. This has caused poor herd health, lousy conception rates, and light, stunted calves. Not only have we fed poor quality forage [especially hay] but also fed our cattle tons of poisoned feed. Ever hear of fescue toxicity?? Our pastures are the most used, most important part of our beef operations and yet too often they receive the least attention.
  2. Failure to provide quality feed in July and August. Our cool season pastures often suffer from summer slump and many producers simply let their cows stumble through the drought even though there are many options such as warm season annuals and perennials to keep our cows in top shape.
  3. Failure to provide quality feed in the winter months. A diet consisting of mostly mature KY-31 is what the majority of beef cows exist on from October through March. This is a significant factor leading to a loss of profit!
  4. Failure to provide the quality feed program for weaned calves. Weaned calves need quality feed not unlike what a high producing Holstein cow needs. With a feed program like that we can background calves efficiently even if we do not finish them.

There are a growing number of highly successful beef producers from the Midwest.

What are they doing differently from the normal producers?

  1. They are taking or have taken definite steps to get rid of the choke hold of KY-31.Tell me one good reason to feed poison to any cow? There aren’t any. These farmers are taking excellent care of their land. They maintain a better stand than most KY-31 farms have. They generally are increasing the organic matter content in their soil. They are better protectors of the land; more efficient in their use of resources.
  2. These successful farmers use good grassland management. They manage the production of pasture and hay ground as carefully as any cash cropper manages his corn. They use good grazing practices, fertilize judiciously, and do not abuse their pasture. They also use wisdom in selecting the right blend of forages for the need.
  3. They keep good forage available for their cattle at all times. Good farmers use a wide range of forages in pasture, hay, and stockpile as the need arises because their cattle deserve more than “junk” forage.
  4. They use quality forage to “background”. This allows them to put hundreds of economical pounds on their calves before selling them or finishing them. A good backgrounding program is low risk and is an easy way to have value added cattle.
  5. These farmers also manage waste. Combining a grazing management program and good manure collection facilities, they can turn their waste into a good fertilizer program. The loss of animal waste on Midwest farm land has been one reason for the wide spread loss of soil organic matter.
  6. These cattlemen also often use quality forage to assist in an economical and safe finishing program for fat steers. Cattle were created to thrive on forage. When we use quality forages the entire life of the cattle we tap into a resource that we will not improve on.

World Dairy Expo 2011 Forage Analysis Super Bowl Commentary – by Larry Hawkins

Byron Seeds had a banner year at the Dairy Expo with their results (see chart above) in the 2011 Forage Analysis Super Bowl (FASB). The biggest successes were in the Dairy Haylage and Baleage categories where Grass/Alfalfa samples captured 12 out of 20 places and 6 out of ten, respectively.

These entrants captured seven of the combined top four spots in these categories (i.e. 1st, 2nd & 4th in haylage and 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th in baleage). Six of these entries were submitted by Byron Seed customers and one was a Byron Seed grass variety submitted by someone else. One other interesting note, a major national forage seed company submitted 22 entries (all pure alfalfa) to the Dairy Haylage category and had only 2 finalists. There were 16 submissions by Byron Seed customers of which 10 were finalists!

Byron also had many high finishers in the Dairy Hay and Grass Hay categories. Of all of these entrants (hay, haylage and baleage), a majority also had a Byron KingFisher alfalfa paired with our grasses.

As always, our Masters Choice corn silage entrants also did extremely well. From the chart below, you can see how we compared to the BMR’s entered. This chart shows the averages of the top ten finishers of each, Masters Choice and Mycogen’s BMR. As you can see, BMR appears to have an advantage in Crude Protein. However, the extra protein is largely prolamin, a low quality (unavailable) protein that also encapsulates starch molecules. This encapsulation renders the starch unavailable until after intensive fermentation (proteolysis or breakdown of protein) takes place. This has been shown to take up to 6 to 10 months. On most farms this means that a good portion of the corn silage is fed before it reaches its best quality! This prolamine formation is the difference between floury (like MC) corn and flinty corn (BMR is some of the most flinty corn available short of popcorn!).

2011 World Dairy Expo FASB Corn Silage Results
Type Crude Protien Starch NDF-D % Milk/Ton
Masters Choice 7.3% 35.3% 59% 3400 Ibs
BMR’s 8.1% 31.2% 62% 3406 Ibs

There is an obvious advantage in starch for MC and only slight differences in Milk/Ton and NDF-d. These results are skewed in favor of BMR because, as yet, starch availability and prolamin proteins are not yet a part of the Milk/Ton formulas. Those factors are currently being updated for the coming revisions of the Mil/ton Formulas. These newer formulas should show a more fair indication of the value of MC corn silage and grain.

Original Source: Byron Seeds Website

2013 Forage Analysis Super Bowl Report

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!