To grow better and more feed in a smaller area is a goal that any qualitydriven farmer would strive for – and that’s exactly what West Coast dairy farmers Nathan and Catherine Simpson are doing.
Maize silage is helping West Coast farmers Craig and Louise Fayen get their herd through to calving in top condition, delivering production, cow fertility and financial benefits.
Canterbury farmers Dean and Carol McConnell have experienced maize silage from both sides of the fence. Their 200 ha mixed cropping farm grows maize silage each season and sells it to their dairy operation. From a cropping perspective, maize provides reliable yields while, from a dairy perspective, it is a great option for putting weight on cows.
Andrew and Nicky Watt and their children Michaela (9), James (7), Aidan (4) and Ryan (18 months) are equity managers of Cloverdale, a 730 ha property located near Tinwald, south of Ashburton.
The sheer size of the operation produces major challenges which the Turners have had to overcome. Currently the cows are milked once-a-day through two 54 and one 62 bale rotary sheds. "Once-a-day suits us because the farm is 14 km long and so the cows have a long walk home and the sheer size of the operation makes twice daily milking logistically difficult," says David.
For Canterbury farmers Russell and Leanne Clearwater, maize offers a supplementary feed that is consistent in supply, quality and cost, year in year out. Wintering 1,300 cows on 330 hectares near Dunsandel, Canterbury the Clearwaters are in an area where plenty of alternative supplements are grown locally.
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