Crop maturity at harvest affects the intake potential of maize silage. A short feeding trial with young beef heifers (Browne, Bryant, Beever and Thorp, 1998) identified a significant depression in intake when low DM silage was fed, yet no significant effect on live weight gain was recorded. The objective of this experiment was to determine if these results were repeated in a longer intake study using finishing beef cattle and to examine the effect of maize maturity on carcass quality.
Forage maize was harvested at three stages of maturity (LOW, MED and HIGH) during September 1997. At each stage of maturity, the crop was cut and ensiled in a separate AgBag during one day, without the use of an additive. The respective silage DM concentrations were 297, 339 and 393 g/kgFWt.