Maize silage is a major dietary component for dairy cows in the USA and Germany with average feeding rates of 2.7 and 4.1 tDM per cow per year respectively (Table 1). Maize silage usage in NZ has increased over the past two decades. It currently accounts for approximately 6% of feed energy supplied to the national herd, calculated using national herd energy requirements (based on cow numbers and milk processed 2013/14 in NZ (New Zealand Dairy Statistics 2013/14)) and the amount of maize silage harvested (AIMI 2015). It is important to establish maize silage feed quality in NZ to better understand its potential to support pasture based farms. Published NZ research has measured in-vivo digestibility of maize silage in animal trials (Kirley 1977; Smith 1973); however, the number of trials is limited and they were not performed using standard protocols to allow pooling of data. The aim of this paper was to compare the nutrient composition of overseas and NZ maize silage to determine if overseas in-vivo energy measurements are applicable to local maize silage and to determine how well NZ maize silage kernel is processed.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 76, Adelaide, 100-102, 2016
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