High digestibility = higher feed intake

High digestible grass provides high feed intake and high feed intake leads to more milk or meat.

Livestock Consultant Niels Martin Nielsen, Agro Limfjord in Denmark, has calculated what it means for milk yield and the balance per cow when feeding grass with respectively 72 and 80% digestibility of organic matter.

Feed intake per cow per day Digestibility (organic matter) in grass silage
Feed intake per cow per day Digestibility (organic matter) in grass silage
72% 80%
Feeding level, kg drymatter 20.9 21.5
Grass silage, kg drymatter 6.0 7.3
Maize silage, kg drymatter 6.3 6.3
Concentrate, kg drymatter 13.5 11.5
Feeding costs, total, € 5.19 4.97
Expected milk yield, kg Energy Corrected Milk (ECM) 39.2 40.0
Margin, € 4.81 5.23

The impact of high digestible forage, expressed in margin per cow per day, is 4.81€ compared to 5.23€ with a digestibility of 72% and 80% respectively. The milk price used is €0.25 per kg ECM and the production price of grass and maize is resp. €0.20 and €0.17 per kg DM.

By increasing the digestibility in grass with 8%-points, the milk yield is increased with 0.8 kg ECM per cow per day.

Conclusion: Replacing silage with silage having 8 %-points higher digestibility increases milk yield with 0.8 kg and farmer’s income with €0.4 per cow per day.

DLF varieties with high digestible cell walls is a good starting point for improving you margin, so look for the Fiber Energy grasses from DLF

Find our DLF Fiber Energy varieties here