Forage quality is a key in producing high levels of quality milk. An index of forage quality, measuring milk per ton of forage DM, was originally developed at the University of Wisconsin (Undersander et al., 1993). This index was developed using an energy value of forage predicted from acid detergent fiber (ADF) content and dry matter intake (DMI) potential of forage predicted from neutral detergent fiber (NDF) content as its basis. This milk per ton quality index was modified for corn silage using energy values and better predictions of DMI and digestibility (NDFD, % of NDF) as its basis. This updated index (MILK2000), became a focal point for corn silage hybrid-performance trials and hybrid-breeding programs in academia and the seed-corn industry. An updated version of this forage quality index (MILK2006) has been developed. Milk2006 uses updated information and better user-defined input flexibility to more closely predict actual milk produced per ton of corn silage. It is a valuable tool for dairy producers and their advisors in predicting corn silage quality and balancing rations and managing forage inventories. A web site has been developed that allows users to input data to predict milk production (per ton or per acre) from a given corn silage.
News from the Quality Silage Resource Center