22 March 1996

Maize feeds find strong champion

MAIZE-fed beef cattle grow and finish faster and can be fed fewer concentrates than those on grass silage, said Dalgetys Janice Harland.

Although the cost of growing maize is higher a tonne of dry matter than grass silage, there are the benefits of improved growth rates and reduced concentrate feeding to be considered, she stressed. However, concentrates fed had to balance the protein in the diet according to growth stage. And the correct minerals and vitamins for a maize diet must be fed.

"In Europe many Continental cross animals are finished with only ad-lib maize for forage," she said.

"But here our more traditional beef animals should be restricted to just below ad-lib feeding."

&#8226 Dalgety launched its guide, Managing Maize Silage for Dairy and Beef Production.