The Value of Customized Forage Solutions for Dairy Nutrition
By Darren Kulicamp | February 16, 2023
Balancing The Ration
How are dairy nutritionists managing the higher cost of corn and soybeans when they are determining rations? It is a hard task as grain markets are high in recent months. However, nutritionists are always attempting to better balance nutrition with cost. With farm raised feed being one of the best and cheapest sources of energy and protein, producers need high quality sources of both to maximize the return on every acre. Ultimately, this means farmers are demanding higher levels of starch per ton to mitigate the expense of purchasing corn off the farm.
DF Seeds is listening to nutritionists and learning how our future product offerings will play into this delicate balance. Whether you’re finishing steers or feeding dairy cows our Legacy Seeds Ration Choice® corn products provide strong options for feeding Michigan cattle. We know that keeping cattle on feed can be challenging – especially with the swings in the weather lately. With these swings in dry matter intake, it is important to be sure cattle are consuming usable forage with every bite. Dual purpose corn is somewhat of a deceiving term. Ensuring both quality and yield, without sacrificing either, is ensured by our Ration Choice corn products. Extensive testing of these products allows our brand to provide both quality and yield in our Legacy Seeds flexible-acre corn hybrids. These hybrids are selected to produce a high grain content and have top-tier fiber digestibility characteristics to ensure a high-quality silage. But, farmers are not sacrificing total tons with our Ration Choice hybrids. It will still be a taller plant that provide high tonnage yields coupled with the high starch content that keeps steers gaining and cows milking.
To maximize farm raised protein, many producers traditionally look to alfalfa. But not all alfalfas are created equal. Legacy Seeds brand Highly Digestible (HD) alfalfas again maximize the power of dry matter intake on production. Legacy Seeds alfalfa does this by design. Our alfalfa varieties are selected to have a small stem, with more leaves per stem. This results in a haylage that can be higher in protein and lower in lignin content without the yield drag. Combining this with the bonus of stand longevity that Legacy Seeds alfalfa has provided against many top alfalfa brands is a good way to maximize the value from your acre.