Sustainable Maize Silage Production: Insights from Farmlands' Brian Richards

Sustainable Maize Silage Production: Insights from Farmlands' Brian Richards

The environmentally friendly farming revolution is gaining momentum, with maize silage leading the way in New Zealand.

As the country grapples with climate change and a push for sustainable practices, Brian Richards from Farmlands is spearheading the adoption of maize silage farming techniques.

Maize silage is a supplementary feed option for livestock, providing farmers with an opportunity to enhance their productivity while minimally impacting the environment. It is an integral part of feeding programs for dairy, beef, and goat farmers, serving as a cost-effective and sustainable base for livestock rations.

Richards advocates for careful paddock selection and hybrid selection, which are the initial steps in successful maize silage farming. He recommends farmers to thoroughly understand their paddock history to prevent any potential issues related to chemical residuals and future crop rotations.

As for hybrid selection, the key is choosing the right hybrid for a specific region and farming conditions. Farmlands can provide support to farmers in this process. Furthermore, Richards suggests soil testing at least three months before planting to identify and rectify any nutrient deficiencies.

Preparation is essential for successful maize planting and establishment. Farmers need to start with a glyphosate spray out, paired with a tank partner if required. For new farms, New Farm's products are a viable option for this. After cultivation and planting, a robust pre and post-emergence program should be followed.

Understanding the weed spectrum and paddock history, as well as effective chemical resistance management, is critical before deciding on the pre and post-emergence chemicals to use. Furthermore, farmers should consider what will follow the maize crop, especially considering the significant withholding periods of some of the chemicals used.

Farmers also need to be aware of potential pests. The fall army worm, a new pest in New Zealand, can be controlled with Quartiva's new product, Sparta.

Farmlands currently has a promotion, giving farmers a chance to win a trip to the Calgary Stampede in Canada. To enter, farmers must purchase any two inputs of seed, ballance fertilizer, or ad chemical.

Richards' insights highlight the potential of maize silage farming as a sustainable and productive practice. As more farmers adopt these techniques, the industry is likely to witness a significant transformation towards environmental sustainability and increased productivity.

This evolution is crucial for the future of farming, as the industry grapples with climate change and the increasing demand for sustainable practices. By adopting these techniques, farmers can enhance their productivity while minimizing their environmental impact, paving the way for a sustainable future in agriculture.

In conclusion, Brian Richards’ expert advice provides a comprehensive guide for farmers interested in sustainable maize silage production. As the farming industry moves towards more sustainable practices, maize silage could be the key to unlocking a more productive and environmentally-friendly future for farmers across New Zealand.

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