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taining 1.4% more water than the green corn. This condition was accomplished by two important changes, viz.: (1) There was a rather large loss in nitrogen-free-extract (sugar and starch) amounting to a difference of 2.16 pounds in 100 pounds of silage, the decrease being consistently larger in the Early, next in the Late, and least in the Medium silage; and (2) one of the important products of the sugar fermentation is water. An increase in water results in spite of the fact that water is being almost continually evaporated from the surface of the silage. These conditions result in a net gain in the ash, protein, fiber, and fat amounting to a ratio of 4% for the fat, 5% for the protein, 8% for the fiber, and 15% for the ash, (the more stable ash and fiber suffering least from chemical destruction) at the expense of the nitrogen-free-extract and in the face of an increased percentage of water.
Another valuable observation has come out of these experiments. In analyzing the silage at ten-day intervals it has been found that there occurs a considerable fluctuation in the composition of the silage in the same silo from the same variety of corn. This variation may be due to growth in different sections of the field. The result was very noticeable on these closely observed cows, some declining in milk yield and some in body weight, but most of them in both weight and milk when a low dry matter area was encountered, unless the grain was very promptly adjusted. This condition may often account for unexplained fluctuations in the milk yield of an entire herd which dairymen are frequently unable to understand. We adjusted such conditions as promptly as possible by varying the grain to meet the situation.
CONCLUSIONS 1. Silage from the Early Maturing (Pride of the North) corn has a superior feeding value for milk production to the Late Maturing (Eureka), while the Medium Maturing (Leaming) lies intermediate. The dry matter content of the Leaming is almost exactly halfway between the other two and likewise the feeding value proved to be about halfway between. This is clear when it is stated that with Early silage 28.57 pounds of grain was required to produce each hundred of milk,
VARIETIES OF SILAGE CORN FOR MILK PRODUCTION
being 9.74 pounds less than for Late and 4.76 less than for
2. Due to the larger acre yields of Late and Medium, they will produce more food and hence more milk per acre than the Early maturing corn. The Late has the advantage in this respect, although to procure 500 pounds more of milk it was necessary to handle four tons more of silage in and out of the silo. On land where Early will yield 69% and where Medium will yield 85.6% as much as Late, they are on even terms in production value. Our yields of Early and Medium were
per cent and 80 per cent respectively of the tonnage of Late. About 1.2 acres of Early and 1.1 acres of Medium were, therefore, required to eual one acre of Late in feeding value.
3. These results justify the use of the Late maturing, high yielding varieties of corn on the intensive dairy farms of northern and northeastern United States. However, where saving of other feeds is primary, the Medium corn of good yielding capacity, which reaches the dough stage before harvesting is nearly equal to the Late in acre milk production value, and ton for ton it will produce milk at a 13 per cent saving of other feeds. But the Early maturing varieties will generally lose out in intensive dairy sections because of their low yield, even though they are more valuable ton for ton.
4. The solution of the problem will doubtless be found in this statement : On farms where the price of milk is low and it is desired to save as much grain as possible, Medium should pay best; but on a farm where the available corn land is limited and the price of milk reasonably high, Late should
pa y best.
5. The dry matter in the silage was less with all three of these varieties, than in the corn from which it was made, in spite of the evaporation of water from the surface of the silage. The net loss is in the nitrogen-free-extract, the other constituents showing a net gain, these being largest in the more stable ash and crude fiber. Rather wide fluctuations occur in the dry matter content of the silage in the silo, sufficient in fact to influence the production of a herd. This fluctuation would seem to be due to field variations and are sufficient to account for some of the falls or rises in milk yield which the dairyman is occasionally at a loss to understand.
The investigation is being continued in an attempt to find out more definitely the comparative feeding value of the dry matter in these different varieties.
An appreciation is due R. E. Johnson, W. D. Burrington and D. A. Collins for assistance rendered in the feeding trials, and to the first two mentioned in making numerous computations.
All analytical work is done at the Connecticut (State) Agricultural Experiment Station at New Haven. Especial thanks are due Dr. E. M. Bailey, in charge of the Chemistry Department at that Station.
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A COMPARISON OF EARLY, MEDIUM AND LATE MATURING
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