Silage maize plus sunflowers
Site Koromiko, 5 km South of Picton
Growing a ratio of sunflowers with maize is an idea from the USA, to improve the palatability and acceptance of maize silage by dairy cows with the added benefit of bio diversity both in field and beyond, your bee keeper will love you for it, but don`t expect the same from “Pioneer”.
Pateke Farms once again volunteered their willingness to participate and put forward a field destined for maize, an effluent paddock near the cow shed.
Sunflower and maize seed are much the same size, this makes sowing simple, keeps the contractor on your side with no adjustments required from one farm to the next.
Sow no more than one row in four as sunflower, this being the USA recommendation, from this expect a small increase in protein, energy and oil content, but a silage which smells nice with better texture. This improves uptake by the cows.
Matching maturity dates for harvest was the risk, but at this point it all looks spot on, note the photos of cob and flowerhead together taken 9/2/1018. A wee way to go but neck and neck at this time.
You the Farmer can expect a saving in seed cost, improved silage, happy cows, more milk, a win, win in any language.
We will remind you again in august prior to next season.