The true cost of maize silage


  • B.J. Fausett
  • J.S. Rowarth
  • F.G. Scrimgeour



The New Zealand dairy industry has increased significantly in size in over the last two decades. One of the drivers that has made this intensification possible is the use of maize silage as a feed supplement. Growing maize on farm imposes production and opportunity costs on the farm business. Opportunity cost was calculated using data from DairyNZ as the profit foregone due to not milking from the maize-growing hectares. Opportunity cost was added to Pioneer's calculated cost of maize silage production to represent the cost that is incurred for each hectare of maize silage that is planted on farm. The true cost of maize silage grown on farm at differing milksolid (MS) payout levels and farm systems was estimated. The findings indicate the economic appropriateness of growing maize silage on farm depends upon the farm system, the value of MS and the cost to purchase maize silage in a given year. Keywords: Maize, milksolid payout, opportunity cost


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How to Cite

Fausett, B., Rowarth, J., & Scrimgeour, F. (2015). The true cost of maize silage. Journal of New Zealand Grasslands, 77, 77–82.



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