|Owners:||Rodger and Scott Jamieson|
Manawatu brothers Rodger and Scott Jamieson have been feeding maize to their herds for the past four seasons and they are more than happy with the results.
Rodger milks 500 Friesian and Friesian cross cows on 222 ha of sand country between Foxton and Sanson. In the 2012-13 season they are on track to produce 195,000 kgMS before drying off at the end of May. This is an excellent result given a record drought and the fact the farm has no feed-pad or irrigation.
Each year 170tDM of maize silage is purchased in fed in the paddock at a rate of 4kgDM/day from mid to late March until it runs out in early June.
"It's no hassle to feed maize silage in the autumn when we are not really busy on the farm" says Rodger. "We feed it along fencelines and because the soil conditions are dry the cows clean it up really well and we hardly get any wastage"
Since maize silage was introduced to the farm cow condition at calving has climbed from 4.0 to 5.0 and the herd's empty rate has dropped. Production has climbed for the past three seasons despite significant climatic challenges.
"We can keep milking regardless of how dry the farm gets and maize silage gives us a big head start to get the herd in good condition prior to calving"
Scott, who milks 320 cows on a property down the road, has had similar positive results and both brothers believe feeding maize silage is the key to the success of their farm systems.
"Maize silage is the cheapest, high quality feed we can source" says Rodger. "It is easy to feed and the basis for a simple system that delivers results".
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