OPINION: Beleaguered Australian farmers are facing a fight on a new front.
Maize silage is a maize crop cut and ensiled in a stack or bunker; commonly used as a supplement to pasture in situations where cows would otherwise be underfed.
The long summer dry has meant many farmers are now focused on how they can increase pasture cover levels while still meeting cow condition score targets.
The summer dry has resulted this autumn in less-than-ideal quantities of grass being available to cows.
About this time of the year, we always seem to get calls from merchants and farmers asking several versions of the same question: “Is it too late to plant maize silage in November?”
Over the last three years, pressure has increased on dairy farmers to produce food with a low environmental footprint.
Maize silage is a good fit with New Zealand systems because the rumen is a microbial environment, full of bacteria, fungi and protozoa which eventually help to produce milk or weight gain.