If higher milk production is what you’re after, there’s no comparison. Brevant® seeds BMR corn silage offers outstanding fibre digestibility, which leads to higher feed consumption among high producing cows. It’s high-quality feed for better cow performance.
Feed costs represent 40-60% of the total cost of milk production on dairy farms (Endres, 2019) and feeding BMR corn silage typically lowers purchased feed costs in a diet, helping to improve income.
BMR hybrids have less lignin and higher fibre digestibility than standard (non-BMR) corn hybrids. When fed to high producing dairy cows BMR corn silage can increase dry matter intake (DMI) which may result in greater milk production. University of Wisconsin-Madison studies* show that using BMR versus standard corn silage can increase milk production by .45 kgs per day. A meta-analysis of corn silage fibre digestibility research indicates that in high corn silage diets (>40%), every 1-point increase in corn silage fibre digestibility led to an increase of 0.14 litres of milk per cow per day (Jung et. al., 2004). Feeding a high quality, high forage diet can also help improve the overall rumen health of a dairy herd.
Proper planning is key to success with BMR corn silage. Each dairy operation and each year are different, which can present unique challenges or variables to manage. BMR corn hybrids can be slightly lower yielding than standard corn silage hybrids and often improves DMI of dairy cows, which may require an adjustment on planned corn silage acres.
Consider BMR corn silage if there is an opportunity to store BMR silage separate from standard corn silage so dairy rations can be adjusted appropriately. BMR hybrids will require the very best agronomic practices from planting to harvest to storage. And remember BMR is typically fed to high producing and transition cows only.
Growing environment also has a large impact on fibre digestibility, resulting in very different levels from one year to the next. Dry conditions during vegetation growth tend to yield less but improve fibre digestibility, while wet conditions tend to yield more but decrease fibre digestibility. If you plant any type of silage corn in a wet year following a dry year, you may not see as much of an advantage versus if the growing seasons were similar year-over-year.
Dairy producers are encouraged to consult with their nutritionists before planting, harvesting, and feeding BMR corn silage to develop a plan for using BMR in the dairy operation. The greatest benefits when feeding BMR silage are often seen when feeding cow diets with high corn silage inclusion rates. Feeding a higher corn silage diet typically allows for less grain to be fed due to higher daily starch intake from silage and more energy from fibre. Transition cows and high producing cows generally respond most favourably to BMR. As with any ration change, add BMR corn silage gradually to rations to allow the rumen environment to adjust and then monitor animal performance.
Recent genetic advancements and new BMR hybrid offerings have improved forage yield potential while enhancing drought tolerance, disease resistance, and standability for more reliable forage production. To capture the improved yield and quality potential, plan to manage BMR hybrids using the very best planting and agronomic practices available.
Brevant seeds portfolio of BMR hybrids can deliver improved profitability for your operation. The Brevant seeds B95R78SX hybrid with the SmartStax®, LibertyLink® and Roundup Ready® traits offers very good plant height, excellent fibre digestibility and impressive whole-plant digestibility. Or check out B99R88SX also with the SmartStax, LibertyLink and Roundup Ready traits offers good talk strength, impressive whole-plant digestibility and excellent fibre digestibility.
Like any corn hybrid, matching the right hybrid to the right acre is important. Work with your local Brevant retailer to select the best BMR hybrid for your operation. Our team of forage experts are available for on-farm support all season. To learn more about the best BMR options for your operation contact your local retailers or take a look at our Eastern Seed Guide.
*1 Comparing fibre digestibility (NDFD-30hr) of BMR hybrids and standard corn silage hybrids in university corn silage hybrid comparison trials in WI, PA, NY (31 site-years).
Endres, M. 2019. Dairy and the cost of production in tough times. Department of Extension, Univ. of Minnesota.
Gencoglu, H., R. Shaver, and J. Lauer, J. 2008. Brown Midrib Corn Silage for Lactating Dairy Cows: A Contemporary Review. Departments of Dairy Science and Agronomy, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. January, 2008.
Jung, H. G., M. Raeth-Knight, and J. G. Linn. "Forage fibre digestibility: Measurement, variability, and impact." Proc. 65th Minnesota Nutr. Conf., St. Paul, MN. Univ. Minnesota, Minneapolis. 2004.