VPMAXX Testimonial

10 Years planting VPMaxx®10 Years planting VPMaxx®

Ashley Thomas, who owns a multi-faceted farming business south of Auckland, has not only sold bulls and maize to the same people for many years, but has also had the same contract milker on his farm for 20 years.

“I’m big on relationships, and the guys at VPMAXX® have always been helpful and obliging and go that bit extra,” Ashley says.

Ashley and wife Anya run a business comprised of a 200 ha beef unit; a 120 ha dairy unit milking 400 cows, and a 100 ha maize crop. The maize is grown around 10 km from the milking platform and some is rotated with a potato crop.

Ashley predominantly plants VP577, a tough maize hybrid with very good drought tolerance, leaf disease resistance, stay green and stalk strength. VP577 is a very consistent dual-purpose hybrid, suitable for both silage and grain production in northern regions.

“With silage harvest maturity reached in 139-155 days, VP577 works well with planting dates for us,” Ashley says. “And the crop yields around 20-22 tDM/ha.”

Ashley sells some of the maize crop each year as part of his cropping operation.

“It spreads the risk, having dairy and beef units and maize,” he says. “I’ve had the same maize silage clients for years; it takes the peaks and troughs out of the market.”

The balance of the maize is fed on farm to his own animals. “We have some challenging contour on farm, with the steep areas and beef blocks prone to drought, so maize silage is fed throughout the year in varying amounts, shared between the two farms, to help fill any feed gaps that may arise,” Ashley says. “We also split calve to help navigate this challenge.”

Having grown maize for 25 years, Ashley says it has substantial benefits for the herd.

“It increases condition score around mating and fertility, increases in-calf rate and extends lactation where necessary,” he says.

“I’m not sure what we would do if we didn’t have a good VPMAXX® crop as an insurance policy.”

Ashley says he places a lot of importance on relationships. “It all comes back to relationships,” he says.

"We have used VPMAXX® from the beginning of its availability on the market in New Zealand, 10 years ago, and it has been great."

“The staff are good and helpful; we have a successful long-term relationship with them.”