Silage quality is critical for livestock performance, and that is particularly true for Matapiro Station, a drystock farm situated just west of Hastings. Matapiro Station is primarily an Angus breeding property, with 1500 cows producing approximately 700 steers. These steers enter into a feedlot as R1s in June and are raised on lucerne silage and maize silage before leaving in September or October once they reach 400kg liveweight. To do this they need to be gaining over a kilogram each day, which is what they have been achieving with good management and a strong focus on forage quality.
Maize silage is grown on farm, with approximately 900-1,000 tDM harvested each year, depending on irrigation. Matapiro Station also harvest around 1,200 tDM of lucerne silage which go into bunkers that can hold around 1000 tonnes each. They use Trusty Contractors in Hastings for their silage work, who they say “makes a good pit” which is essential to retaining feed quality throughout the entire bunker.
Matapiro Station have been using Nutritech forage products for several years now. It first started with the Sil-All® inoculant range, which they have been very happy with. Both the feed tests and physical observations of the silage have shown that the inoculant is doing a good job in preserving the silage.
With the launch of the MAGNIVA® Platinum product in 2021, Matapiro Station decided to use this new technology on their maize silage. Keeping silage cooler for longer was an important feature of the MAGNIVA® Platinum inoculant for Matapiro Station because heating feed increases refusals and wastage which is costly to a feedlot system. “We are not sure if it is new inoculant or not, but we noticed the animals are eating really well, intakes do seem to be higher than last year”, reports Farm Manager Michael Lowther.
They have also been using Silostop® Orange oxygen barrier film under Silostop® UV Covers. “We tried it, and now we just don’t get the mould on top. We have people come look at our stacks and say that they can’t get much better” says Michael. They find it easy to apply the Silostop® Orange oxygen barrier film and have a good system for pulling the covers down in a way that is easy to manage.
Michael also likes the durability of the Silostop® UV Covers, noting that “one day we went down to the stacks and there we found an 800kg bull standing on the top… we were impressed with how little damage had been done for such a big animal”.
Overall Matapiro Station have been very pleased with the Nutritech range of forage products, as well as the technical advice, service and support.