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Maize silage improves cow condition in large herd

Phillip and Maree Gudopp with their feedout wagon loaded to feed the 750 cow herd.

Maize silage improves cow condition in large herd

2005/06 Season

Owners: Phillip and Maree Gudopp
Farm location: Eltham
Farm size: 243 hectares
Herd size: 750 cows

Maize silage helps Taranaki farmers Phillip and Maree Gudopp achieve desired lactation length and cow condition targets. The Gudopps milk 750 crossbred cows on 243 hectares situated 4 km east of Eltham. Production for the last three years has averaged 1,100 kgMS/ha with per cow production ranging from 330 to 355 kgMS.

"Each year we feed 8-10 hectares of maize silage which allows us to calve earlier and milk longer at the end of the season" says Phillip. "Cow condition is always an important consideration with larger herds and with its high starch content, maize silage allows us to keep weight on the cows as we head into the mating period. Consequently empty rates have only been 4.6% and 7% the last two years. We also feed maize silage in the autumn to ensure the herd is dried off in good condition for calving."

In the Spring of 2005 the Gudopps planted 12.5 hectares of Pioneer® brand 38G43. "We look for a maize silage hybrid that will give high yields and a low cost per unit of drymatter. We have grown 38G43 because it performs very well in our district."