|Farm location:||Opiki, Horowhenua|
Milking 380 cows on 115 ha at Opiki, Wayne has overhauled the way he uses maize on-farm and is seeing some outstanding results.
“The old saying “if you do the same thing each year you will get the same result” is something I’ve taken note of,” Wayne says. “Everyseason is different and needs to be looked at individually.”
The Horowhenua farm has grown maize for many years, but its evolution has been steady.
“We used to do lot of greenfeed maize back in the day, but as silage got more popular, we made the move across,” Wayne says.
Wayne plants 13.5 ha of the crop annually. An average season yields a very respectable 24 tonnes DM/ha, but this year, Wayne says “we’re going to blow that out of the bag”.
Maize silage is fed from late autumn to increase cow condition. Throughout calving and mating,every cow gets maize every day.
Wayne says he likes using maize on-farm as it is a cost-effective feed of high quality, increasing cow condition well. This is reflected in the impressive 125,000-145,000 kgMS the herd produces each year.
In addition to a bumper maize crop, the farm is nearing the end of its first season with a feed pad on farm – an investment that has delivered outstanding results.
“Last year we had 18% empties; this year there are 7%,” Wayne says. “At the end of pregnancy testing this season the cows were in better condition than ever before. I’ve never seen maize work so well as it has this year.”
The decision to build a feed pad was facilitated by Pioneer Area Manager Matt Dalley, who helped Wayne weigh up the pros and cons by using Pioneer's feed pad calculator.
“We were experiencing some wastage in the paddock, but the main catalyst was being hit with a couple of really wet seasons,” Wayne says.
Matt has worked with Wayne for around six years and is a valued colleague.
“Matt helps us with everything, from start to finish. He offers advice from the best way to cultivate the paddock, to the benefits of a feed pad, and everything in between,” Wayne says.
“To get the tonnage out of a crop there are boxes that need to be ticked along the way; Matt gives us the right advice for different times of the year, different hybrids, different weather conditions.”
Wayne is excited to see what next season brings, when they build further on the gains made last season.
“The results we are getting are outstanding and we’ve never looked back.”
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