Although genetic capacity and environmental conditions play a major role in animal husbandry, high yields will not be possible unless feeding is well done. Therefore, the correct selection of silage maize seed is important for the accuracy of the first ring of the yield chain.
Why nutrients are important for corn silage?
Producers can improve overall silage quality and economic performance of milk production by taking due care of nutrients.
The high quality silage meets the needs of the animals while keeping the cows' nutrient capacity to the maximum. In contrast, the low quality silage occupies vain space in the rumen and requires additional reinforcement of the ration to meet the daily needs of the cows.
With the right balance between starch and fiber digestibility, silage quality helps maintain the health of the dairy herd and makes more vital energy available to cows, thereby increasing productivity and profitability for the farmer.
There are 4 main nutritional factors in nutrition: energy obtained by starch, fiber and cell wall digestibility. All of this is needed for best silage quality. DEKALB breeders choose the silage variety to present these factors to the producers. Our farmers who prefer silage maize cultivation to prefer DEKALB silage maize seed with high silage yield potential and silage quality values will provide a great advantage to them at the time of harvest.
Silage maize is grown mainly due to its high energy content. Silage maize will continue to be the main source of energy, even though there are ongoing improvements to raise other nutrients such as amino acids and fat content. Although energy is not a nutrient, it refers to the calorific value that can be converted from nutrients to maintain metabolic activities. Egypt provides this energy in 2 main ways:
Stalk and leaves - Mainly fiber component, 40 - 80% digestible energy (dNDF)
Kocan - Mainly starch component, about 100% digestible energy
Their proportion depends on the type of silage maize, the timing of the harvest, the date of sowing and the climatic conditions. In terms of nutrients of corn plant fiber rate decreases over time, while the starch ratio (from the cob) increases.
Silage contains other nutrients, such as soluble sugars, proteins and fats, which are extremely limited and contribute little to the overall feed ration.
The main source of energy in Egypt comes only from grains.
Ratio in corn silage: 27-35%.
Starch ratio must be adjusted according to this value
o If too low: Silage can be supplemented to give more energy, or corn silage can be used at a higher rate, o> 30%: Fiber is added to ensure cows continue to ruminate and prevent acidosis.
While most of the starch is digested by cows, in some cases there may be some loss depending on the total ratio and how well the grains are broken during the harvest. There are 2 types of starch:
Soft / unsolved starch
The glassiness of starch is mainly dependent on the timing of harvest (starch softens as the plant dries) and plant genetics (more glassy starch is present in the feed species). Glassy starch is generally less digestible in the rumen of milking cows. However, after a few weeks in the silo, vitreous starch becomes as digestible as soft starch. In addition, the smooth breakage of the grain eliminates the negative effects of glassy starch.
Ruminant animals such as cows can obtain energy from the fibers they take as nutrients. The rumen functions as a fermentation barrel, and the bacteria present in the rumen allow the fiber components to be broken down into more easily digestible sugars in the rest of the digestive tract. Thus, there is a significant advantage in the digestion of forage plants compared to single-stomached animals.
The fiber is the cell wall of the plant cell containing hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin, all of which together form a neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and is mainly present in the plant part (stem and leaves). Cellulose is the most digestible part of the fiber.
3 criteria for determining fiber properties in silage
Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF): Total fiber. Target value = 38-43% Dry Matter
Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF): The ratio of "slowly digested fibers". Target value = 19-22% Dry Matter
Acid Detergent Lignin (ADL): Lignin content is "indigestible". Target value = 1.5-3% Dry Matter
NDF - ADF = yield hemicellulose content
Cell wall digestibility
Since only a portion of the fiber is digested in the rumen, it is important to determine to what extent the NDF is ready to be digested. Many parameters influence the correct measurement of digestibility, usually in laboratory conditions.