Estimating energy value and milk yield potential of whole-plant corn forage

PI: Luiz Ferraretto


Ferraretto is an assistant professor of animal and dairy sciences and extension specialist at UW–Madison. His research and extension interests are applied ruminant nutrition and management.

Dairy cattle diets rely primarily on forages. Adequate forage management targeting maximum quality is essential for farm sustainability and profitability. Among these forages, the use of fermented crops, particularly corn silage, is common in Wisconsin and the United States. Producing greater amounts of better-quality forages is crucial, especially in an era of high feed and fertilizer prices. Tools for estimating energy value and milk yield potential of corn silage have been widely used by the industry and scientific community for multiple purposes. However, some of the existing tools require an update; therefore, the objective of this project is to update the MILK2006 spreadsheet, which is widely used by the industry and academia to rank corn hybrids. A new tool will be developed to estimate the benefits and downfalls of increasing chop height of forage crops. This project aligns to Dairy Task Force 2.0 recommendation #26 (‘Increased collaboration in the UW System and with private industry).