Agronomy

Agronomy

Growing economical and environmentally sustainable yields of top quality maize remain a key requirement of growers be that for grain, silage or biogas production.   MGA Agronomy resources continue to provide technical advice aimed at growing great crops at a cost that ensures members maximise returns. MGA agronomy advice includes information on variety choice, seedbed preparation, weed control and harvest etc.  MGA agronomist advice is available free to members.

 
 

Resources: Agronomy

Costs of production

Monday, August 20, 2018

The latest in the Costs of Forage Production series is based on average yields and quality.  Costs of production are assume contractors undertaking establishment and annual management tasks with crop nutrients being supplied by straight inorganic (bagged) fertiliser.  No feed out costs or waste are included. 

 

Westerwolds offer a real opportunity

Monday, August 20, 2018

The hot, dry conditions have hit/ obliterated most second and third cut silages, as well as impacting on many maize crops, to the point that many growers are currently short of grazed grass as well as being down on forage stocks for the winter.  The likely early harvest of maize this autumn and recent rain does offer some opportunities to fill the forage gaps, as do extending grazing in the autumn and hopefully next spring. 

Maize Heat units 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Data received from MGA corporate members Grainseed ltd this week makes fascinating reading.  Using metrological office data, the team have completed Maize Heat Unit (MHU) calculations for different regions of the country, which along with sunshine and rainfall data the MHU data goes a long way to explain the huge variation in maize crops across the country.

Maize heat units attempt to quantify the “useful growing units” for maize and are based on average daily temperatures (minus 6 degrees) for each month.  The 2018 MHU’s, sunshine and rainfall data have been compared with the 30 year averages.

Droughted maize - Don't panic yet

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Costs of Forage Production (June 2018)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Average growing costs for Grazed Grass, Silage, Maize with and without film, Wholecrop, Fodder Beet, Kale, Stubble Turnips can be viewed and downloaded.

Getting ready for maize 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Producing a seedbed

As a result of the wet, cold and snowy conditions throughout so much of the country during February and March, establishing this year’s maize seed bed will inevitably be a challenge for many.  The good news is that if fields have been ploughed there should have been sufficient frost action to enable the generation of a seedbed without resorting to the power harrow.  The aim has to be to develop a seed bed that allows roots to get down to depth quickly, without hindrance of pans which can result, as a consequence of using power harrows in the wrong circumstances.

MGA Trials programme 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Last week saw the approval of the 2018 MGA research programme, the field work of which will take place during the upcoming growing season.  Results will be presented at the next MGA conference (2019).  The results for the 2017 trials are now on line.

What and why? – Using data from last summers membership survey and consultation within the MGA council, Simon Draper has coordinated the production of a set of Research Proposals which have been sent to  contractors for quotations.  Quotes are now in and tenders offered. 

During 2018 we propose to run trials ranging from weed control to crop nutrition.  The MGA research programme runs alongside work being undertaken on behalf of the British Society of Plant Breeders BSPB (partly funded by the MGA) into maize variety testing and disease tolerance.

Nitrogen Predictor Form

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Nigtrogen Predictor Form - Download and return to the MGA office

MGA Herbicide trial report 2017

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fertiliser trial report 2017

Monday, March 12, 2018

Maize Charter - CSF Case Study No1

Sunday, February 25, 2018

With support from Catchment Sensitive  Farming (CSF) we have revisited research, demonstration and advisory work done along  with CSF over recent years and produced case studies summarising the key lessons learnt.   

This Case Study focuses on the Dorset Maize Charter 

Undersowing Maize - CSF Case Study No2

Sunday, February 25, 2018

With support from Catchment Sensitive  Farming (CSF) we have revisited research, demonstration and advisory work done along  with CSF over recent years and produced case studies summarising the key lessons learnt.   

This Case Study focuses on undersowing maize to retain nutrient and soil over the subsequent winter period. 

MGA Eyespot update

Friday, July 21, 2017

Eyespot can be identified on the crop in the initial phases as nail head sized, circular brown spots surrounded by a yellow halo. The spots coalesce and join up with adjacent lesions, to eventually cause the whole leaf to turn brown and die.

MGA Cover crop trial results

Friday, July 21, 2017

With whole crop barley and rye harvest completed and wholecrop wheat underway for many growers there is a good opportunity to grow a catch or cover crop and benefit from extra grazing or improvements to soil organic matter and nutrient retention.

Key to success is treating the cover as a crop and drilling it properly rather than spinning it on and hoping that it rains and the seed chits and grows. Some early nitrogen can also kick the crop on and ensure good early growth if field nutrient status is low.

MGA weed star chart 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Getting ready for maize 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

Over 50% of a good crop of maize is to do with having good soil structure and no matter what variety or fertiliser options are chosen, if the soil structure is poor, a poor yield will result.

To read Simon's latest thoughts on the 2017 maize season, please see attached pdf.

2016 MGA Trials report

Monday, March 27, 2017

Main sponsor Syngenta

Friday, March 3, 2017

Main Sponsor BOCK UK

Friday, March 3, 2017

MGA Herbicide trial results

Friday, March 3, 2017

Gayton trial results

Friday, March 3, 2017

Cover crops for water protection

Friday, September 16, 2016

MGA Introduction

 

As part of the MGA on-going attempts to further increase the sustainability of maize growing we have asked Tim Stephens of Wessex water to set out and explain the on farm research/demonstration work he and the company are doing.

 

Introduction

In response to rising levels of nitrates and pesticides in surface and ground waters, Wessex Water has been working with farmers in high-risk catchments across Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset for the past 11 years. The aim of this is to make sure that drinking water and environmental standards are not breached. A team of Catchment Advisers carry out a range of activities including free soil, water, crop and manure sampling, provision of agronomic advice and in some cases, funding for farmers to adopt practices that improve water quality. Nitrate (N) leaching during the winter period is a major issue across many catchments. One of the most common practices promoted by Wessex Water to reduce this is the growing of cover crops as an alternative to bare overwinter maize or cereal stubbles.

Reducing the risk of runoff from autumn wheelings

Friday, September 16, 2016

An email back in the spring from ADAS senior researcher Dr Martyn Silgram was the catalyst for this short technical note on the potential to reduce soil compaction and the resultant water, sediment and associated agro chemicals runoff from tractor and trailer wheelings in the autumn, by using the right tyres and some innovative kit. 

Key Maize harvest tips

Friday, September 16, 2016

The warm dry weather means that the maize crops continue to romp through their growth stages and that harvest will soon be upon us.  With this in mind I have had a quick scan through past harvest guides to come up with what I hope will be some useful timely reminders.

Report on the MGA trip to France

Monday, August 1, 2016

Grower and commercial members teamed up recently to head to Picardy in Northern France with Simon Draper, MGA agronomist, to learn what is new from French researchers and growers. 

Attached is a summary of the points picked up by the travellers.  We hope the summary proves useful to members and would ask that questions you have be channelled to Simon, via the MGA office. 

Maize eyespot in 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The maize crop is potentially at risk from Maize eyespot, a foliar disease which can desiccate the crop and reduce yields by up to 60% this year.  Maize eyespot is noted by the circular lesions on the leaf which can quickly join together to cause death of the whole leaf and eventually the plant. Please see attached note for advice.

 

MGA Weed Star Chart

Monday, May 16, 2016

Maize weed control 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Normally I would (and still do) recommend a two spray programme for weed control in maize but with the later drillings it is likely that the maize will emerge and grow quickly (unless it is being drilled under cold conditions). if this is the case then a good long lasting pre-emergence may achieve season long control on its own this year.

Maize drilling tips

Monday, April 18, 2016

Now is the time to start thinking about the detail of getting your crops off to a great start. I have, based on experience and the latest MGA trial results, put together my tips for establishing your 2016 maize crops.  I hope the year goes well for one and all.

 

MGA Conference Paper 2016 - John Morgan - The Positives, Challenges and Best Practice of Growing one of the Worlds Most Popular Crops

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

John Morgan's paper to the February 2016 MGA conference in Peterborough.  

MGA Conference Paper 2016 - Oliver Knowland - MGA/Future Biogas Research and Development Trials Report

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

MGA council member and Future Biogas consultant Oliver Knowland reviews the Later Maturing Variety, Starter Fertiliser and Foliar Nitrogen Trials carried out with Biogas Production in mind. 

MGA Conference Paper 2016 - Neil Groom - MGA Research Results Review - Sulphur for Maize and Maize Under Film Variety Trial

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Neil Grooms review of two MGA Research Projects presented to the February MGA Conference in Peterborough.  Sulphur for Maize and Maize Under Film Variety Trials. 

MGA Conference Paper 2016 - Tim Charmen - Perspectives on Soil Management of Maize

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tim Charmen's Paper to the February 2016 MGA Conference in Peterborough 

MGA Conference 2016 Paper - Joe Foot - Why we farm the way we do?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dorset farmer Joe Foot outlines the key elements of the maize growing on the family farm. 

MGA Conference Paper (written text) 2016 - Bridget Lynch - Agronomy and Dairy Nutrition Research Trial Update

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bridget Lynch from University College Dublin, Lyons Research Farm's paper to the MGA conference in Peterb0rough during February 2016

MGA Conference Paper 2016 - Philip White, Trace Element Nutrition of Maize

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Philip White, from The James Hutton Institute's paper to the 2016 MGA Conference in Peterborough

2016 BSPB/NIAB/MGA First and Second Choice Maize Variety List

Monday, February 29, 2016

The table lists all first and seconc choice varities on the BSPB/NIAB descriptive list 

MGA Sulphur trial report

Friday, January 22, 2016

In order to fill in the sulphur knowledge gaps for maize, three years ago the MGA set off on a small plot research program to quantify any impact of applying sulphur to the growing crop.  The aim of this research review is to set out what we have done and the results thrown up.  

MGA Site and Maturity Group Selector

Friday, January 22, 2016

It is said that we often need to be told something three times before we listen and it is with this thought in mind that I once again want to talk a little bit about what the MGA council feel is very important for the future of the crop.  Please accept my apologies if you have already got the message.  I most certainly do not want to teach granny to suck eggs, however I do believe the external pressure on the crop is there and that it is the MGA’s duty to best prepare growers for the challenges ahead.   So what is the message?  Put simply, soil erosion from maize stubble or any other crop (including grassland) for that matter is unlikely to be tolerated in the future, with penalties, which will be scaled up for repeat offences, deducted from Basic Payment Scheme monies. 

MGA Variety booklet 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016