PAC 624 and PAC606IT offers Daily Farmers timing optionsJune 24, 2020
For the Chesworth family near Dubbo, dairy farming is the best thing in the world. Since moving from the Hunter Valley in 2000, they have used their whole family’s passion for the industry and a value adding approach to build a resilient, whole of industry business.
It began with a simple Holstein milking operation and stud. With small margins in whole milk production, they decided to set up their own factory in 2013, bottling their own milk and marketing it under the name The Little Big Dairy Co. Then in 2017, they began growing their own corn to feed the cows. Stephen Chesworth and his wife Erika are the overall managers at the Rawsonville farm, focussing mostly on the stud and herd, while daughter Emma and son-in-law Jim run the factory and marketing. Son Duncan and daughter-in-law Danielle run the dairy and farming operation, and their other son Campbell works part-time on the farm between university study. The whole family are committed to Holstein Australia, with Stephen serving a term as NSW president and vice president and holding a position on the senior judging panel. Their Tomargo Recluse stud is well known within the industry, recognised many times for their highly sought-after progeny.
Currently they are milking about 1,000 cows with approximately 30 per cent of their total milk production passing through their own factory and ultimately being sold under their own label.
In the past three years, corn has played a big part in the feed ration for the Chesworths.
“We’re glad we made the move into corn because it’s a fantastic feed source in the ration and milk yields always increase when you introduce it to their diet,” Duncan Chesworth said.
“We just need to fine tune a few things in growing it.”
For the 2019-20 season, seven pivots (180ha) were planted to corn at various stages, with the first two pivots planted in October to quicker maturing hybrids, enabling silage in the pits at a faster rate.
On the advice of Nutrien Dubbo agronomist, Chris Turner, four more pivots were planted in December to the proven high yielding/high starch variety PAC 624 after ryegrass.
The last pivot was planted to PAC 606IT on January 12.
The best yielding pivot was one of the PAC 624 at about 60t/ha of green chop followed closely by another two pivots of PAC 624 yielding 54t/ha of green chop.
“There is no doubt the longer season hybrids like PAC 624 and PAC 606IT yield higher, but it becomes a juggling act when to spray the ryegrass out,” Mr Chesworth said.
“If we try to get one last cut off the ryegrass, it means planting corn later and therefore eating into prime ryegrass time in the autumn.
“Planting mid-season corn varieties either side of Christmas means we are not chopping until late April and into May.
“Now we have built our silage stocks up, we might look at planting our longer season corns like PAC 624 in the spring and the quicker ones later on.”