Performance of Lactating Dairy Cows Fed Corn as Whole Plant Silage and Grain Produced From Genetically Modified Corn Containing Event DAS-59122-7 Compared to a Nontransgenic, Near-Isogenic Control

J Dairy Sci. 2011 Apr;94(4):1961-6. doi: 10.3168/jds.2010-3477.


The nutritional equivalency of grain plus whole plant silage from genetically modified corn plants containing the DAS-59122-7 (59122) event expressing the Cry34Ab1 and Cry35Ab1 proteins to grain and silage from a near-isogenic corn hybrid without this trait (control) was assessed using lactating dairy cows. Corn plants with event 59122 are resistant to western corn rootworm and tolerant to the herbicide active ingredient glufosinate-ammonium. Effects on feed intake, milk production, and milk composition were determined. The 59122 grain and the control grain were produced in 2005 from isolated plots in Richland, Iowa. Whole plant corn silage for the 59122 and control treatments were grown in isolated plots at the Kansas State University Dairy Center and ensiled in Ag-Bags. Thirty lactating Holstein cows blocked by lactation number, day of lactation, and previous energy-corrected milk production were used in a switchback design. All cows were fed diets that contained 22.7% grain plus 21.3% whole plant silage from either the 59122 or the control hybrid, in addition to 21% wet corn gluten feed, 12.3% protein mix, 8.0% whole cottonseed, and 14.7% alfalfa hay. Each period of the switchback trial included 2 wk for diet adjustment followed by 4 wk for data and sample collection. Milk samples (a.m. and p.m.) collected from 2 consecutive milkings of each collection wk were analyzed for fat, protein, lactose, solids-not-fat, milk urea nitrogen, and somatic cell count. Percentages of milk fat, protein, lactose, and solids-not-fat were not affected by dietary treatment. Yields of milk, 4% fat-corrected milk, energy-corrected milk, solids-corrected milk, and the concentrations and yields of milk fat, milk protein, milk solids, and milk lactose were not significantly different between treatments. Efficiencies of milk, fat-corrected milk, energy-corrected milk, and solids-corrected milk production also were not different when cows were fed crops from 59122 than when they were fed the control hybrid. Milk production efficiency averaged 1.48 and 1.50 kg/kg of dry matter intake for cows fed diets containing the control and 59122 corn, respectively. These data indicate that the nutritional value for milk production was not different between a diet containing grain plus whole plant corn silage produced from a 59122 corn hybrid versus a diet containing grain and corn silage from its near-isogenic control corn hybrid.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • DNA, Plant / analysis
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Edible Grain
  • Female
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics*
  • Silage
  • Zea mays* / genetics


  • DNA, Plant