We’re getting ready to shine at World Dairy Expo
September 22, 2022
We score consistently high in Madison AND with agronomists and nutritionists on the farm
The World Dairy Expo is one of the top dairy industry shows in the world. It’s the perfect stage for Legacy Seeds to shine.
Legacy Seeds corn hybrids and alfalfa varieties have performed well in October in Madison. Last year at the World Dairy Expo’s World Forage Analysis Superbowl, Legacy Seeds’ LC-4118 sample earned the title of Grand Champion in the standard corn silage division. The sample was submitted by Egan Family Dairy in Omro, Wisconsin.
We know the Egan family well. They are long-time users of Legacy Seeds corn silage. Winning at the World Dairy Expo takes a good product and good management. The Egans weren’t the only growers using Legacy Seeds to place high at WDE last year.
“Our Legacy dealers often become coaches to our growers,” says Bret McCorkle, president, Legacy Seeds. “They learn what works best in the farmer’s agronomic situation and for their feed rations.”
We have an increasingly wide range of corn silage hybrids in our Ration Choice® portfolio. We don’t just breed for stature or other one-dimensional set of traits with our corn silage.
“Farming isn’t cookie cutter,” says Ashley Madson, district sales manager in central Wisconsin. Ashley grew up on a dairy farm and has a degree in animal science. She loves both agronomics and nutrition.
“Each farm has different soil, different management, and each farmer is looking for specific feed characteristics in their silage,” says Madson. “Agronomically, corn silage has to be able to hold up to different stressors too.”
More data for better decisions
We go beyond other companies with our Ration Choice corn hybrids. We evaluate and test corn silage on broad characteristics like fiber and overall total starch. We have a proprietary suite of tests that we run on our Ration Choice corn so we can evaluate both agronomic and nutritional characteristics that help producers choose the perfect hybrid for their agronomic and nutritional needs.
Evaluating hybrids based on a suite of characteristics makes Legacy Seeds different. Take seven-hour start digestibility (7hrIVSD). It’s a standard number when measuring corn silage hybrids but we go further and measure other characteristics like fast-pool starch. Fast-pool starch tells us how much starch is available right away for digestion. That helps growers who need to feed corn silage right out of the field in the fall avoid a fall slump in milk production.
In terms of fiber digestibility, most of the industry focusses heavily on undfd240 and NDFD30. Legacy is also looking at overall digestibility and looking at TTNDFD, KP, and KD to get a bigger picture on the feed’s fiber digestibility. (See the glossary of terms for help with the acronyms.)
The World Forage Superbowl allows us to showcase more than just our Ration Choice corn silage. With our recent acquisition of TriCal Superior Forage as a Legacy Agripartners brand, we have access to a network that allows us to be a one-stop shop for growers with triticale joining corn silage and alfalfa as another source of protein.
“We can pull it all together and deliver a plan for growers,” says McCorkle. “We know how each of these products interacts in the ration and where they perform best in the field. We’ve put together a great team of trainers and teachers who understand our growers and their farming operations. It’s fun to showcase products where we know we can help improve efficiencies on farm.”
Our alfalfa varieties are developed specifically for dairy producers in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. All our alfalfa varieties must survive our Wisconsin winters. We don’t rush varieties to market. We wait until we can prove persistence. And we have varieties based on the farm management and how intensely the farmer cuts, whether it’s 21 or 28 days.
A team approach
A lot of dairy producers take a team approach to their dairy nutrition. They have an agronomist, veterinarian, and nutritionist on the team. We love working with that team to bring the best options to the table.
We train our team members to help bridge the gap between agronomy and the barn. When we’re working with a nutritionist, we can offer varieties that meet their quality and production goals, but we also know that they’re a good fit agronomically. We know they want quality feed and we need to bring it to harvest.
Glossary of corn silage nutrition terms
- NDFD30hr: % of NDF (fiber) that is digestible at 30 hours
- uNDF240: % of un-digestible fiber at 240 hours
- Starch % Dry Matter: Amount of starch in the silage
- 7hrIVSD: % of starch digestible at 7 hours
- Fast-Pool Starch: Starch available right away for digestion
- TTNDFD: Total Tract Neutral Detergent Fiber Digestibility better compares fiber digestibility across multiple forage types
- MPT (Milk Per Ton): Estimation of the amount of milk per ton of dry matter
- MPA (Milk Per Acre): MPT x Dry Matter Yield
- KP: Digestion rate of feedstuffs in the rumen
- KD: Digestion rate of feedstuffs passing from the rumen