Growing normal and brown midrib (BMR) corn hybrids together produced silage with a chemical composition almost comparable to pure BMR silage. When fed to cows the mixture resulted in greater feed efficiency and lower milk MUN than normal silage.

That’s according to University of Delaware scientists who planted normal and BMR hybrids separately and in alternate rows in the same field. The three treatments were chopped and processed at 36% dry matter and ensiled in silo bags for six months. Nutrient composition of the silages was similar except for NDF digestibility, which was lower in the normal corn silage than in the BMR and mixed silages.

The three silages were fed in 28-day periods to early lactation cows as 52% of the ration dry matter, in a TMR that also contained alfalfa silage, alfalfa hay and concentrate. Milk, milkfat and milk protein production were similar among treatments, but dry-matter intake was lower, thus feed efficiency was higher, for the BMR and mixed silages vs. the normal corn silage.