Ramirez, H. A. R., Nestor, K., Tedeschi, L. O., Callaway, T. R., Dowd, S. E., Fernando, S. C. and Kononoff, P. J. 2012. The effect of brown midrib corn silage and dried distillers' grains with solubles on milk production, nitrogen utilization and microbial community structure in dairy cows. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 92: 365380. Thirty-six Holstein cows (24 multiparous and 12 primiparous), four multiparous were ruminally cannulated, (meanSD, 11135 days in milk; 66476.5 kg body weight) were used in replicated 44 Latin squares with a 22 factorial arrangement of treatments to investigate the effects of brown midrib (bm3) and conventional (DP) corn silages, and the inclusion of dried distillers' grains with solubles (DDGS) on milk production and N utilization. Experimental periods were 28 d in length. Treatments were DP corn silage and 0% DDGS; bm3 corn silage and 0% DDGS; DP corn silage and 30% DDGS; and bm3 corn silage and 30% DDGS. Compared with DP hybrid, total tract fiber digestibility was greater for cows consuming bm3 (32.5 vs. 38.11.79%) and DDGS (40.0 vs. 35.21.76%). Milk yield was not affected by treatment, and averaged 30.51.09 kg d1. Milk protein yield was positively affected by bm3 corn silage and the inclusion of DDGS. An interaction between hybrid and DDGS on milk fat was also observed. The nature of the interaction was such that milk fat was only affected when DDGS were included in the diet and the lowest milk fat was observed when bm3 corn silage was fed (3.46, 3.59, 2.84 and 2.510.10% DP 0% DDGS, bm3 0% DDGS, DP 30% DDGS and bm3 30% DDGS, respectively). As a proportion of the total N consumed, manure N was significantly reduced by the inclusion of bm3 corn silage and DDGS (64.1, 57.1, 52.0, 51.2% for DP 0% DDGS, bm3 0% DDGS, DP 30% DDGS and bm3 30% DDGS, respectively). The Firmicutes:Bacteriodetes ratio in the rumen decreased when cattle consumed DDGS. When cows were fed bm3 corn silage, the population of Fibrobacter sp. tended to represent a larger proportion of the total bacterial population (1.8 vs. 2.30.28% for DP and bm3, respectively) and this shift may have been driven by the fact that bm3 corn silage has less lignin, therefore the cellulose digesting bacteria may have more access to the cellulose.