RESEARCH REPORT: Fertilizer Effect on Yield and Quality of Corn for Livestock Feed
Specialty corn varieties are bred to express quality profiles that are more suitable for livestock feed than standard, conventional corn varieties. With that in mind, John Gilbert, of Gibralter Farms near Iowa Falls, investigated different fertilizer practices to improve productivity of a specialty corn variety (cv. GEI 101) he has deemed to possess a desirable quality profile for consideration in swine diets.
The results can be found in a recently released report entitled, “Fertilizer Effect on Yield and Quality of Corn for Livestock Feed.”
Among the key findings:
- Nutrient analysis of grain samples is essential to properly balance diets.
- Specialty corn yield was increased when Igniter™ was applied, but not when starter fertilizer was applied in 2013. Increasing the N rate increased specialty corn yields in 2014.
- In 2013, the lysine concentration and grain yield of the corn where Igniter™ was used resulted in cost savings per acre from a reduced reliance on soybean per ton of hog diet. In 2014, grain yields were greater but the lysine concentration of the corn was not high enough to result in savings.
- Savings in hog diets can be accomplished when lysine concentration of corn is such that less soybean meal needs to be purchased from off-farm outlets.
The ultimate impetus driving the research at Gibralter Farms involves finding practices and approaches to improve the overall farm performance and economic resilience by feeding livestock what is grown on the farm. For more information about this study and other studies in PFI’s Cooperators’ Program, contact Stefan Gailans at stefan@practical farmers.org.
The full report can be read here.