Dairymen Feeding Corn Silage Should Compare Hybrid Cost on a Per Cow, Per Day Basis
Compare Hybrid Cost on a Per Cow, Per Day Basis to Avoid "Per Bag" Sticker Shock
By Bill Seglar
Dairymen feeding corn silage sometimes question if the additional financial investment for a bag of elite hybrid seed corn is more profitable than purchasing a cheaper hybrid. Producers should make their purchase decision by analyzing the "return on investment" (ROI) based on a "per cow" and "per day" basis. Pioneer nutritionists developed a decision model that facilitates calculating ROI. Your Pioneer sales representative has access to this model and can make comparisons of various scenarios for your operation.
An example of the model is illustrated above. The inputs are highlighted in yellow and include:
- lbs. silage (as fed) per day
- price of milk per 100 weight
- retail price of bag of seed corn
- acres planted per bag of seed
- silage ton/acre yields adjusted to 70% moisture
- estimated milk per acre predicted from using MILK2006 - available from University of Wisconsin Extension.
Always remember to compare hybrid genetics using paired comparison reports because single side-by-side also represent environmental inactions encountered by the crop during the growing season.
The results are highlighted in green on the chart above. Results are calculated based on the following criteria:
- cost of seed on a per cow/day basis
- difference between the two hybrid seed costs on a per cow/day basis
- pounds of milk required per cow/day to justify extra seed cost
- extra potential pounds of milk/acre from MILK2006 by going with the elite hybrid
- extra pounds of milk per cow per day the producer may harvest by feeding the elite hybrid at the given corn silage inclusion rate
- increase revenue that's generated by investing in an elite hybrid based on increased per cow/per day times inputted milk price.
This comparison model, only available through your Pioneer sales representative, can assist you in making "apples to apples" comparisons when making hybrid seed corn purchase decisions.