Effects of feeding silage and grain from glyphosate-tolerant or insect-protected corn hybrids on feed intake, ruminal digestion, and milk production in dairy cattle

J Dairy Sci. 2003 May;86(5):1780-8. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(03)73763-1.


Lactating dairy cows were used to determine effects of feeding glyphosate-tolerant or insect-protected corn hybrids on feed intake, milk production, milk composition, and ruminal digestibility. Corn resistant to European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) infestation (Bt-MON810), or its nontransgenic control (Bt-CON), were planted in alternating fields during two successive years. One-half of each strip was harvested for whole plant corn silage and the remainder was allowed to mature and harvested as grain. Effects of feeding diets containing either Bt-MON810 or Bt-CON grain and silage were determined in two experiments (1 and 2) conducted during successive years. In experiment 3, glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready corn (RR-GA21) or its nontransgenic control (RR-CON) corn were grown in alternating fields during one cropping season. Diets contained 42 to 60% corn silage and 20 to 34% corn grain from Bt-MON810, RR-GA21, or the appropriate nontransgenic counterpart; treatments were applied using a switchback design. Cows were fed ad libitum and milked twice daily. There were no differences for nutrient composition between silage sources or between grain sources within an experiment. Data for experiments 1 and 2 indicated similar dry matter intake (DMI), 4% fat-corrected milk (FCM) production, and milk composition between Bt-MON810 and Bt-CON diets. There were no differences for DMI, 4% FCM production, and milk composition between RR-GA21 and RR-CON diets. There was no difference in ruminal degradability, determined separately for corn silage and corn grain, for RR-GA21 or Bt-MON810-hybrids compared with their respective controls. These data demonstrate equivalence of nutritional value and production efficiency for corn containing Bt-MON810 compared with its control and for RR-GA21 corn compared with its control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Digestion
  • Drug Tolerance / genetics
  • Eating
  • Edible Grain
  • Female
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / pharmacology
  • Herbicides / pharmacology
  • Lactation
  • Moths
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified*
  • Rumen / metabolism
  • Silage*
  • Zea mays / genetics*
  • Zea mays / growth & development


  • Herbicides
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine