Kernel texture (hardness or softness) affects the digestibility of its starch.
An independent lab tested several varieties of Masters Choice corn for kernel texture. Several physical qualities were tested to determine the kernel texture. The results of these tests showed the genetic floury varieties testing softest.
On the same sample Rock River Labs, in Wisconsin, also conducted an in situ starch digestion study. Before the study, samples were ground to pass a 6mm screen, dried and then incubated in single bags in 3 different Holstein dairy cows. This process tests for 7-hour digestion, estimating ruminal starch degradation. The physically softer corns had greater starch digestion.
Generally, softer kernels mean better digestibility.
Difference in Digestion
The chart below shows the percentage of starch digested between two hybrids. The soft/floury hybrid had greater than 50% more starch digested than the hard hybrid did.
Location/ Environment Influence
Location and environment play a role in the texture of the kernel. Examination of the values revealed that the textures did correlate between the two locations. (Carrollton, IL and Dayton, VA) Even though the hybrids from Carrollton tested typically softer, the softest hybrids and hardest hybrids were the same at each location.
Why is this Important?
Floury grain allows more starch to breakdown in the rumen giving the animal a greater feed efficiency.
Testimonial: E. Burkholder Fleetwood, PA
After he began using MC corn hybrids in his beef ration, he noticed that his cattle finished on less feed. He had over 15% more feed left in his silos after his cattle were marketed.