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Forage Yield & Feed Quality of Four Corn Hybrids

Updated: May 10

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

Collaborating Producers: Peter & Marilyn Dolen, Fourth Creek (Saddle Hills County)

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2013 Annual Report

Corn is an option for producers looking to extend the grazing season and reduce feed costs per cow per day. Corn is a high energy feed with protein levels that will normally match the nutritional needs of a dry cow in mid and late pregnancy. It also has the potential to produce more dry matter than tame hay or forage cereals. By replacing other forms of feed with standing corn particularly in late fall and during winter, labour time, machinery use and associated costs are reduced as no summer feed harvesting is required and winter supple-mental feeding is limited. Through a series of corn field days and on-farm trials and demonstrations, and the support of seed companies in the Peace, PCBFA continues to renew producer’s interest and awareness in using corn to extend the grazing season. PCBFA works with producers in many parts of the Peace to help them evaluate corn hybrids and identify suitable hybrids for extending the grazing season of beef cows for their area. The following report is one of these mentioned collaborations.


The trial took place at Peter & Marilyn Dolen’s farm (RGE RD 81) in Fourth Creek (Saddle Hills County) on a 50 acre field. The site has had corn hybrids tested twice before the present trial. In 2012, corn grazing lasted for 32 days. Soil test done before seeding showed excess amounts of N needed for a corn crop for the year, so no dry N fertilizer was applied. Liquid fertilizer consisting of the following nutrients was applied: Alpine (6-22-2), copper, boron, manganese, zinc and magnesium. Seeding was done on May 20 with a 6-row corn planter at 30-inch row spacing. Four corn hybrids were seeded (Pioneer corn P7443R, Pioneer corn P7213R, Monsanto corn DKC 26-25 and Pioneer corn 39F44). Weeds were controlled with Roundup.

On October 7, forage yield was determined from harvesting four 17.5ft long corn rows per corn hybrid. The corn forage samples were weighed fresh. Some corn plants were chopped with a wood chipper for determination of moisture content and feed value in a laboratory. Dry matter (DM) yield was later calculated for each corn hybrid. On the sampling day, the numbers of cobs per plant, cob maturity and final stand count were also determined.

Results and Discussion

Number of Cobs, Cob Maturity, % DM, Plant Population and DM Yield (Table 1)

One cob per plant was recorded for each corn hybrid.