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TheDairySite Newsletter - 10 October 2014

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Friday 10th October 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Corn Update: Mycotoxin, Crop Rotation Guidance 

Those depending on maize/corn silage for feed should note recent insights into planting density and problems experienced in silage bunks after a wet US summer.

Corn silage mould problems have been reported from the MidWest, specifically in South Dakota, this week.

This follows a stop-start harvest as told by US Department of Agriculture crop progress report.

Tracey Erickson, dairy field specialist at South Dakota State University, has stressed that moulds on their own are not a problem, but they can produce the mycotoxins which are.

“This year the moulds Gibberella, Fusarium, and Diplodia may be an issue,” she warned.

Mycotoxin problems can hurt reproductive performance, lead to feed refusal, reduce performance, and in the case of Alfatoxin lead to death.

Mrs Erickson advised to watch out for Zearalenone, DON / Vomitoxin, Aflatoxin and ergot/scab.

While rarer, Fumosins and T-2 toxins may surface and can’t be ruled out by South Dakota producers, she added.

In terms of corrective action, Mrs Erickson advises that mycotoxins already in the feed cannot be killed.

However, current mould can be killed and more mould can be prevented from growing.

“The best advice is if you have seen mould on corn, test it before feeding to determine what, if any mycotoxins may be present, especially if it is being fed to the milking or breeding animals.”

No commercial products work consistently against DON/vomitoxin and Zearalenone, she added.

A word of warning has also been issued for growers looking to increase dry matter yield from their corn/maize acres without impinging on quality.

To achieve this, longer resting periods prior to planting and high precipitation appear to be key. 

Virginia Tech forage experts, reacting to a Journal of Dairy Science trial which looked at upping maize density after a long fallow period after wheat and 28.1 inches of rain, have stressed the importance of rotation on corn performance.

The original study monitored crop performance between crop densities of 24,000 plants per acre and 36,500 plants per acre. Virginia Tech's subsequent study followed ryegrass silage cropping, comparing 22,000 plants per acre with 40,000 plants per acre.

Virginia Tech forage expert Dr Gonzalo Ferreirra said: “Increasing plant density decreased substantially the size of the ears and the number of kernels per ear.”

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

36 Per Cent More Milk By 2024: Why and How?
In ten years the amount of milk we need to produce must increase by over one third, says food packaging and processing multinational Tetrapak.

'Impressive' Beef Imports to Slow For China
China's beef prices have been consistently strong through the second and third quarter with strong importing activity expected to slow under pressure from high prices.

Farmers Told to Begin October Soil Sampling
October is a good time to sample soils and address nutrient deficiencies to maximise grass production, advise Irish researchers.

How to Address Mycotoxin and Mold in Corn/Maize Silage
Mold and mycotoxin difficulties are arising in several South Dakota silage bunks, meaning it is time to ask questions of your forage.

Crop Rotation Key For Corn Results
Increasing maize planting density can lift dry matter yield without damaging quality, but only if crop rotation and moisture are right, says a Virginia forage expert.

Market Reports

USDA National Dairy Products Sales Report - 8 October 2014
Dairy Australia - Fortnightly Update - 8 October 2014
Australian Rural Commodities Wrap - September 2014
United Kingdom Milk Prices and Composition of Milk – August 2014

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