Through its LG brand, Limagrain Europe is a leader in animal nutrition and is known for its expertise and ability to offer varieties that meet to the needs of producers. To complement its high-fibre digestibility corn varieties (HDi) for diets consisting predominantly of corn silage, LG is launching a new series for diets based on grass forages; the STARPLUS varieties are rich in starch, especially high-quality starch. A novelty for Europe.
For cows fed grass-based diets, the supply of energy in the form of corn rich in starch is essential. But a high level of starch is not sufficient; the quality is also a fundamental and determining factor for rumen availability and insures better starch digestion. The STARPLUS varieties combine these two characteristics. Better digestion means higher milk or meat production per kilogram of corn consumed, and better concentrate efficiency.
The research teams of Limagrain Europe developed a specific program for the level of starch in corn hybrids and for the rumen degradability of starch, which specialists refer to as the SRD (Starch Ruminal Degradability). They worked for 4 years in partnership with an independent organisation to construct a calibration method to allow for the simple but precise identification of hybrids with a high SRD.
‘With our STARPLUS labelled LG hybrids, cows benefit from a 5% increase in ruminal starch availability/kg dry matter,’ explains Martin Cazot, who is responsible for marketing corn silage varieties on behalf of Limagrain Europe. ‘At an equivalent level of corn consumed, the diet is more efficient; for the farm this means higher milk production with the same ration, or the same milk production with fewer concentrates. If a farmer puts 6kg of corn in the diet and feeds a herd of 60 cows over a 300-day lactation, the savings will amount to 700€/year compared to barley. l