Increase run-off efficiency

Many dairy farm run-offs are not farmed to their full potential. Growing maize silage can help increase the drymatter production from run-offs.

An analysis by Scott Ridsdale (DairyNZ)9 shows that a partially cropped run-off growing maize silage could harvest 86% more drymatter than a traditional run-off. The partially cropped run-off provided an 83% higher return on assets for the farmer that owned it.

Table 5: Comparison between the amount of drymatter harvested from a traditional run-off and one partially cropped with maize9
Traditional run-off 30 ha Partially cropped run-off 30 ha
Heifer grazing
75 calves
75 yearlings
Heifer grazing
85 yearlings
Winter grazing
100 cows for 4 weeks
Winter grazing
120 cows for 4 weeks
Standing grass for hay
20 tDM
Maize silage
10 ha or 235 tDM
- Winter triticale crop
10 ha or 80 tDM
TOTAL FEED HARVESTED
300 tDM or 10 tDM/ha
TOTAL FEED HARVESTED
558 tDM or 18.6 tDM/ha

9 Ridsdale, S. 2007. Are you getting the best out of your run-off? Proceedings of the 5th Dairy3 Conference 5: 177 -185.