Submitted to: High Plains Beef Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/19/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Common corn smut is a fungus that has significant effects on the yield of corn. However, it is not known if common corn smut adversely affects the palatability or digestibility of silage made from infested corn. We conducted three experiments to determine the effects of common corn smut on the palatability and digestibility of corn silage. To make silage, whole corn plants were hand harvested, divided into infested or non-infested stacks, chopped, and ensiled for eight weeks in 30-gallon plastic barrels lined with air-tight plastic bags. The three treatments were 0% smut, 100% smut, and 50% smut (a 50:50 mixture of 0 and 100%). Corn smut did not adversely affect the palatability of the corn silages. Silage infested with smut had higher fiber and crude protein content but lower non-structural carbohydrate content. Both in vivo and in vitro digestibility decreased as the proportion of smut in the silage increased. These results indicate that corn smut does not adversely affect the palatability of corn silage; however, corn smut decreases the digestibility of corn silage.