A large database (n=1611) of maize hybrid nutritive characteristics was developed by sampling 42 maize hybrids from three replicate plots at 100 Pioneer Research sites during 2000, 2001, and 2002. Compared to changes from year to year, differences in nutritive quality across hybrids of different maturity were small. Differences in maize hybrid quality accounted for $34 extra milk income per tonne of maize silage DM, whereas the differences in hybrid yield had a much larger impact on milk income ($8672/ha maize grown). Maize hybrids were ranked similarly for milk production potential, although the rankings were much closer, and sometimes equal for hybrids when fed in a New Zealand pasture system compared to a US total-mixed-ration system. Being able to select maize silage hybrids in New Zealand based on the extra milk they are likely to produce will be of benefit to dairy farmers, especially as inclusion rates of maize silage increase.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 63, Queenstown, 101-106, 2003
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