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