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Farm System Analysis pays off

Left to right Farm owner Steve Allen with farm workers Eric McLean and Jono Young.

Farm System Analysis pays off

2006/07 Season

Owners: Steve Allen
Farm location: Morrinsville
Farm size: 132 hectares
Herd size: 490 cows

Morrinsville dairy farmer Steve Allen wanted to check that his simple yet profitable system was operating to its full potential, and that he was maximising his maize silage investment, so he approached Pioneer to conduct a Farm System Analysis (FSA).

Local Pioneer Forage Specialist, visited Steve and completed an FSA, which showed Steve’s farm was running well but there was an opportunity to extend lactation length by using more maize silage. Consequently, Steve purchased an extra 50 tDM of maize silage together with grass silage for summer.

A subsequent FSA follow-up also showed a potential summer feed deficit in his system. To overcome this Steve grew Pioneer® brand forage sorghum on farm to cost-effectively provide the quantity and quality of feed when it was required. The extra forage sorghum drymatter would also help feed the cows better during summer, allowing Steve to milk a few more cows without compromising cow condition and would extend lactation when combined with the bought in maize silage.

With the integration of the additional maize silage and the introduction of forage sorghum into his system, Steve believes he will achieve his target of 1,400 kgMS/ha for the 2008/09 season.