Cost benefits of beet and maize continue to be promoted

“People know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” This was how Brian Reidy, of Premier Farm Nutrition, began his talk at the DLF maize and beet briefing recently.

He went on to describe how the feed cost per unit of energy is far more important than the feed cost per tonne of dry matter.

He stated that, while many farmers base their feed ration decisions on protein content, it is energy that drives production and protein that encourages intake.

Energy drives:
  • Milk volume;
  • Milk quality;
  • Conformation and fat score;
  • Body condition;
  • Fertility.

Maize and beet

The table below shows that beet is the most-expensive crop per tonne of dry matter. But, it is on a par with maize when examined on the cost per 1,000 UFL utilised (€/1,000 UFL utilised).

Although fodder beet has the lowest dry matter (DM) percentage of the three crops; it has the highest ME (metabolisable energy), UFL and sugar values. Maize silage rates highest over grass silage for DM percentage, ME, UFL and sugar values.

Brian also stated that maize silage is the perfect complement to grazed grass when buffer feeding. It is high in starch and fibre, while also being low in protein.