Canterbury dairy farmers Hayden and Line Ferriman are no strangers to feeding maize on farm - but their decision to increase the amount to extend lactation and improve Body Condition Score has delivered some outstanding results.
First-time farm owners often become the guardians of properties that need to be shown a little love - and Rai Valley couple Shanan and Debbie Wellman have incorporated maize into their system to do just that.
When Roel and Diana Wobben arrived from Holland 26 years ago with very little, they could not have imagined that they would end up living on their 600 ha dairy farm with three sons Carlo, Rick and Dylan and milking 1,800 Friesian cows per day.
Farming in the Tasman district of the upper South Island is no easy feat because of the extreme weather. It has hot dry summers and early autumn frosts and, as Phil Riley has learned, you need to be prepared for anything the climate can throw at you.
Maize silage, hay and pasture form the basis for a diet which has seen the number of clinical milk fever cases in Scott and Leone EvansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ herd drop from 100-200 cows to less than 10 each year.
A once-a-day dairy farm system has allowed Marlborough farmer Nigel Morrison the chance to pursue his other passion of running an agricultural contracting business which operates throughout one of the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most scenic regions.
A large-scale dairy conversion is creating a new income stream, as well as a steep learning curve for Canterbury farmers Bruce and Susan Turpie. The couple and their children Sarah (21), Georgina (17) and Richard (12) own 410 ha at Lyndhurst, 10 km east of Methven.
Andrew and Rachele Morris farm a 1,285 hectare property at Ealing on the terraces of the Rangitata river south of Ashburton. The milking platform for the 2005-2006 season comprised 650 hectares under centre pivot irrigation with the rest of the farm run as a beef and dairy support unit. This season the milking herd consisted of 2,500 spring calving and 200 autumn calving Friesian cross cows.
Keeping production costs as low as possible by efficiently utilising pasture and maximising lactation length and milk production per cow is central to the business philosophy of Canterbury farmers Greg and Rachel Roadley.
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