Be amazed by maize

Key grains, such as barley, wheat, maize and canola, are often in short supply at this time of year as stocks of last year’s harvest are depleted and spring-calving herds come into full production. Maize is an ideal partner for cereal-based rations.

shyamal das
Shyamal Das
Nutrition & Technical Services Manager

Key grains, such as barley, wheat, maize and canola, are often in short supply at this time of year as stocks of last year’s harvest are depleted and spring-calving herds come into full production.

Maize is an ideal partner for cereal-based rations. Compared to other grains, it has a higher density of metabolisable energy due to its higher starch content and yet the starch ferments slowly in the rumen.

These unique characteristics mean maize is a perfect ingredient for boosting milk production whilst reducing the probability of milk fat depression and maintaining a stable rumen environment.

As a slow-fermenting starch, a higher proportion of maize starch escapes the rumen, allowing digestion in the small intestine, where it is absorbed to become blood glucose, which is the primary driver of milk volume.

Maize is particularly suitable for feeding to cows grazing lush or rapidly-growing pastures where protein levels are in excess of your cows’ requirements, or for feeding to fresh cows with depressed appetite or during unusually warmer conditions as encountered in late spring and summer.

As the saying goes, “No two herds are the same”. CopRice acknowledges this fact and therefore offers a range of maize and canola-based rations to suit a range of dairy feeding systems. They include CopRice AusMaizing pellets, which are specifically formulated to support  the winning trifecta of production, health and fertility.

Maize is the key ingredient within AusMaizing pellets. Other ingredients include wheat and barley to provide a source of faster-fermenting starch, together with a balanced mix of macro and trace minerals (including organic sources), vitamins and rumen buffers.

CopRice AusMaizing pellets are available in three formulations, each formulated to deliver 13 MJ ME/kg DM in combination with 12%, 14% or 16% crude protein. These rations have consistently delivered improved production outcomes in commercial herds  over the past decade.

Maize is a premium cereal grain for dairy cows. It is used extensively in the U.S. dairy industry, where researchers are constantly investigating ways of extracting even greater benefit from its use.

One U.S. study examined the effect of corn processing and feeding frequency on milk yield and ruminal fermentation characteristics in dairy cows.1 This study found that while the level of processing or frequency of feeding had no influence on dry matter intake, steam-flaked maize produced significantly higher milk and protein yield than finely or coarsely-ground maize.

Importantly, this study showed steam-flaked maize had significantly higher digestibility than coarsely or finely-ground corn and a significantly lower loss of starch in the faeces when steam-flaked corn was fed compared to coarsely ground maize (50 grams versus 460 grams)

While the pelletisation process is not strictly ‘steam flaking’, these results can be generalised to pellets as pelletisation is based on steam conditioning of finely-ground maize starch.

More recently, CopRice has introduced ‘Dairyblends’, a range of loose blends specifically formulated for use in partial or total mixed rations. Each blend comprises a nutritionally-balanced mix of processed grains (including maize), vegetable protein meals, non-forage fibre sources and a high quality CopRice Dairy concentrate to complement other feed resources or to replace other ingredients that may be in limited supply.

Ausmaizing pellets are available ex-Tongala and Cobden, while Dairyblends are available ex-Coleambally and Leongatha. CopRice pellets and blends are prepared at state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and using world-class quality assurance standards, so you can be completely confident of the nutritional composition, quality and safety of every load.

Contact CopRice today and find out how our expert team of nutritionists and advisors can help to develop a customised program combining the benefits of maize and canola meal to precisely meet the nutritional requirement of your herd.

Shyamal Das has extensive experience in agricultural research, education and nutrition. He is renowned for his ability to develop innovative feed solutions that complement home-grown fodder to deliver sustainable improvements in health, fertility and productivity. Shyamal has graduate and post-graduate degrees in agriculture from the University of Melbourne.
References: 1. Dhiman, T.R. (2002). Influence of corn processing and frequency of feeding on cow performance. Journal of Dairy Science, 85(1):217-226.

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