Corn silage in backgrounding diets
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These results are an important reminder of a few basic principles for both cow-calf and backgrounding operations. Growing conditions affect silage quality, especially for corn. On average, corn produces higher energy silage than barley. But very few years are average, and long-term averages can provide a false sense of security. In fact, actual CHUs in Lethbridge have only been “average” in one out of the past eight years, so test your feed! Unexpectedly high-quality feed containing more nutrients than your class of cattle require can be stretched farther by diluting it with lower quality feed. On the other hand, a disappointingly poor feed test result can tell you what nutrients need to be supplemented. There are decision making tools on http://www.beefresearch.ca to help you do this.
The Beef Research Cluster is funded by the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada with additional contributions from provincial beef industry groups and governments to advance research and technology transfer supporting the Canadian beef industry’s vision to be recognized as a preferred supplier of healthy, high quality beef, cattle and genetics.
(Thisarticlewrittenby Dr.ReynoldBergen,BCRC ScienceDirector,originally appearedintheJune2019 issueof CanadianCattlemenmagazineandisreprinted ontheBCRCBlog withpermissionof thepublisher.)