Cattle feed nutrition

Asked November 23, 2018, 8:53 PM EST

What is nutritional difference between sweet corn vs field corn for cattle feed (combined)

Colorado beef cattle

1 Response

Ryan,

Looking at recent NRC data on feeds, below is some comparison values of corn silage and sweet corn. It looks like with sweet corn silage, you sacrifice some energy content which probably has to do with size of ears, number of kernals, etc. In addition, and what surprised me, is that field corn silage is lower in fiber (or more digestible) than sweet corn silage. An important point to note however is that sweet corn is a tick higher on protein. You should test your forages regardless as these are just averages. Long story short, you'll have to supplement some energy in the form of a concentrate feed if feeding sweet corn silage (assuming your target is higher than what silage alone can supply). You may not have to supplement as much protein however if feeding sweet corn silage. Other important things to investigate is cost difference, yield difference, etc. It may be more economical to go with the field corn or even an open-pollinated/non-gmo variety.

Corn silage mature well-eared:

DM %34, ENERGY %72, NEM Mcal/cwt 75, NEG 47, NEL 74, PROTEIN CP %8, UIP %28, FIBER CF %21, ADF %27, NDF %46, eNDF %70, EE %3.1, MINERALS ASH %5, CA %0.28, P %0.23, K %1.1, CL %0.2, S %0.13, Zn ppm22

Corn silage sweet corn:

DM %24, ENERGY %65, NEM Mcal/cwt 66, NEG 37, NEL 66, PROTEIN CP %11, UIP %23, FIBER CF %20, ADF %32, NDF %57, eNDF %60, EE %5, MINERALS ASH %5, CA %0.24, P %0.26, K %1.2, CL %0.17, S %0.16, Zn ppm39

Chris