Okoroire dairy farmers Kevin and Lily Taylor, with son Adam and wife Celene, regularly see their maize stack outperform average feed analysis projections, leaving their VPMAXX® account manager Barry Smallridge in awe.
“The Taylors are outstanding farmers who have utilised maize to its best ability for a number of years,” Barry says.
“The feed value they have secured from hybrid VP577 has, year-on-year, provided mouth-watering numbers that have exhibited extremely high MEs, digestibility, and starch - all conducive to providing cow performance out of the top drawer.”
The Taylors, who milk 390 cows on 140 ha effective near Tirau, have grown maize on farm for a number of years. This season they planted 9 ha of VP577, yielding 26 tDM/ha.
The Taylors feed maize silage strategically throughout the year, starting with around 100 tDM in the spring alongside palm kernel extract (PKE). They ramp up maize silage levels again in the summer months to fill any feed gaps that may arise.
“We don’t get too dry where we are, but the cows still need a pick me up in those hotter months,” Kevin says.
“Maize silage delivers enormous animal health benefits: it gets the cows ready for the winter, and keeps body condition scores high for the next season.
“The maize crop provides a steady yield every year, which contributes to our milk production figure of 400 kgMS/cow.”
Kevin’s confidence in their maize crop being a top-performer was reinforced in August 2020 when a maize test was undertaken, leaving Barry stunned by the results.
“The feed analysis was not reflective of what I would have expected from a maize test, in a season that saw lower MEs and starches thanks to the extended dry,” Barry says.
“The Taylors results were simply outstanding. An ME of 11.6 MJ is ‘top drawer stuff’, particularly in a season when cob development in many crops was restricted.
Barry’s comprehensive reporting of feed test results, in addition to hands-on crop monitoring, advice and support are among the many contributing factors to his long relationship with the Taylors.
“We worked with Barry when he was in a previous role, and we decided to come along with him when he started his role as VPMAXX® Account Manager,” Kevin says.
“We find him very good to deal with; he provides great support throughout the season, helps us select the ideal hybrids for the farm, and monitors the crops.
“We put all our trust in Barry.”