29 September 2000

In praise of maize

EVEN at low dry matter, maize is beneficial in cow rations and more producers in marginal areas should consider growing it.

Speaking at the Research Access 2000 demonstrations, CEDARs Richard Phipps said that even a modest amount of maize can help cow performance.

Feeding 23% dry matter maize as 75% of the forage increases cow milk yield by 1.5kg/day.

"When in limited supply, it is best to use maize in early lactation to encourage high intakes which can improve energy balance and reproductive efficiency."

Extra protein is needed to balance maize rations, but as maize is cheap to grow this is likely to be economic, he added.