AMES, Iowa — Those who use silage in their beef rations are invited to consider using a free calculator from Iowa Beef Center that provides helpful information.
According to developer Garland Dahlke, the Corn Silage to Beef Calculator provides a means to rank the potential value of corn silage varieties used in beef rations. Dahlke, who is an associate scientist at IBC, said several factors are important aspects of the tool.
"Although grain yield has always been a primary criterion for hybrid selection, kernel starch digestibility and plant fiber digestibility are factors that cannot be ignored when assessing the value of one variety over another," he said.
This Excel-based application has been available for some time; however, after a couple years of use some minor adjustments and the inclusion of starch digestibility into the calculation have been incorporated into the overall assessment.
The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC, visit www.iowabeefcenter.org.