Nutritive value of maize silage in relation to dairy cow performance and milk quality

N.A. Khan, P. Yu, M. Ali, J.W. Cone, W.H. Hendriks

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94 Citations (Scopus)


Maize silage has become the major forage component in the ration of dairy cows over the last few decades. This review provides information on the mean content and variability in chemical composition, fatty acid (FA) profile and ensiling quality of maize silages, and discusses the major factors which cause these variations. In addition, the effect of the broad range in chemical composition of maize silages on the total tract digestibility of dietary nutrients, milk production and milk composition of dairy cows is quantified and discussed. Finally, the optimum inclusion level of maize silage in the ration of dairy cows for milk production and composition is reviewed. The data showed that the nutritive value of maize silages is highly variable and that most of this variation is caused by large differences in maturity at harvest. Maize silages ensiled at a very early stage (dry matter (DM)¿
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-252
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • fatty-acid-composition
  • vitro rumen fermentation
  • ruminal starch degradation
  • neutral detergent fiber
  • replacing grass-silage
  • waxy corn hybrids
  • whole-plant digestibility
  • conjugated linoleic-acid
  • midrib 3 mutation
  • dry-matter intake


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