It certainly makes interesting reading because the crux of the story revolves around the benefits of sowing a new variety of maize – Atrium. Evidently, the selection of a maize variety which has been bred with a high cell wall digestibility can results in a crop with a higher energy content – and this, in turn, can lead to the production of more milk from the same clamp space.
The startling news is that the extra 0.18 MJ/kg DM of metabolisable energy associated with Atrium can generate an additional £2,700 worth of milk on a 100 cow dairy herd.
The background to this story is that good cell wall digestibility is one of the selection criteria in the LG breeding programme. Over the past few years a new breeding line has been discovered in which varieties exhibit this trait – in addition to high DM yields. Atrium benefits from this important breakthrough and the variety makes its debut on the 2011 NIAB List as a maturity class 6 for growing on favourable sites.
With all eyes focussed on the value and importance of home grown feed no dairy farmers can afford to overlook the benefits linked to optimum variety selection.
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