corn cost, dairy cow, ration formulations
Corn grain usually makes up 30 to 35% of the total ration dry matter (DM) of a typical Midwest lactating cow diet. Changes in its price, therefore, can have a significant impact on total feed costs. Even with high corn prices, however, it is unlikely that corn grain will be removed completely from the ration. Corn grain, due to its high starch content, permits the formulation of energy-dense rations required by cows with high genetic merit for milk production. Adequate starch concentrations in corn grain also promote growth of rumen bacteria and protozoa essential for optimum forage fermentation. On the other hand, too much starch in the rumen may result in sub-clinical and/or clinical rumen acidosis.
Garcia, Alvaro; Kalscheur, Kenneth; Hippen, Arnold; and Schafer, Rebecca, "High Priced Corn and Dairy Cow Rations" (2007). SDSU Extension Extra Archives. 133.