18 February 2000

Enough for winter

GROWING 13ha (32 acres) of maize in rotation with wheat is enough to provide a high yielding Bucks herd with 50% of their winter forage.

Richard Hillsdons 85 winter calvers average 8450 litres with 3.48% protein, attributed to maize and a home-produced premix of high quality straights at £107/t.

The premix contains soya, rapemeal, whole cottonseed, fish, molasses and maize gluten, and is fed with caustic wheat.

Mr Hillsdon grows maize alternately with seed wheat on his 73ha (180-acre) farm near Stowe. But no more land is available to grow maize on the unit.

It is, therefore, rationed in favour of the highest yielding of the two groups of cows in winter. These cows receive 6.4kg of maize DM a day with 5.9kg of grass silage.