Use of corn forage for grazing lactating dairy cows
McClenton, Brandon Jermaine
AdvisorRude, Brian J.
Smith, Terry R.
Ryan, Peter L.
Two lactation trials were used to investigate corn grazing as a management tool for dairies. Control (n = 18) cows, housed in free-stall barns were allowed ad libitum access to TMR while Grazing (n = 18 to 36) cows were limit-fed TMR down to 70% of that in Controls and allowed 24-h access to corn plots. By wk 3, Grazing cows consumed 7.9 +/- 1.5 kg/hd/d of standing corn. By wk 7, the crop had matured and Grazing cows consumed 11.42 kg/hd/d of corn grain. Intake of TMR by Controls was 20.07 +/- 0.46 kg DM/hd/d, 19.78% greater than Grazing groups. Corn grazing had no impact on body weight, condition score, or ruminal pH, but significantly increased milk production in the Grazing group. Corn grazing reduced the need for purchased commodities, while improving milk production and performance. The value of saved commodities and increased milk production was $0.71 per cow/d.