Environment

Environment

Maize is more water efficient and stores more carbon than many other crops. Maize is also an excellent target crop for the efficient use of organic manures Such positives must be balanced with the soil structure, nutrient overload and biodiversity challenges associated with the crop. The MGA environment publications, being free to all, attempt to inform growers of the positives and potential negatives of growing maize and other wholecrop forages.

 
 

Resources: Environment

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

Feed to Faeces Report

Thursday, January 5, 2017

As a follow on from the two very successful MGA feeding days held in Cheshire and Dorset on the 13th and 14th December, trainer and MGA Ruminant Consultant Mike Wilkinson has put together a summary of the lessons learnt.  He and we hope the attached notes prove useful during what remains of this winter and the 2017 growing season.

Diets to reduce grenhouse gases

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

In his second article for the MGA, Mike Wilkinson describes ways of reducing livestock greenhouse gas emissions through diet formulation.

European maize meeting - Feeding value of maize silage

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The chosen subject for this year’s European Maize Meeting, held at the Arvalis Research Station, near La Chepelle St Sauveur in North West France in early September, was “The Feed Value of Maize Silage”.  As has historically been the case, participating countries address the subject focused on related research being undertaken in their home states and as a consequence, the papers provide a useful reminder of what is going on in Europe.

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 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 - Simon Draper, MGA Research and Development Results

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Simon Draper reports the results of MGA Research and Development to Members. Trials reviewed include - Seedrate/row width, Starter Fertiliser Undersowing and Herbicide options with and with out film.

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

The MGA maize under film trials

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The MGA maize under film trials results have now been finalised and with so much more to learn from this new and exciting work we asked Neil Groom of the MGA council to fill members in on the background story in the hope that it proves useful.

MGA sets out to defend appropriate maize growing

Friday, October 30, 2015

As indicated in the last mailing, the MGA were disappointed, to say the least! in the content of and lack of consultation about the Soil Associations Runaway Maize booklet published in June this year. We were keen to discuss our frustration about the content and scant acknowledgement of work that the MGA and others are doing to address the very real issues identified. 

Over a couple of days in late September, John Morgan from the MGA office team took the opportunity to visit both the Soil Association (SA) and National Farmers Union (NFU) to set out our views.

Key harvest tips for 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Maize harvest will be soon upon us and with this in mind I have taken a look back at previous harvest guides to dig out the some key points to consider.

The recent and largely sensationalist negative publicity put forward by the Soil Association in particular prompts the first focus that being the ongoing and well publicised MGA policy that:

All maize stubbles should be managed to avoid soil and nutrient loss over the winter months.

Basic Payment Scheme Soil Management requirements

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

January 1st 2015 signalled a significant change in Basic payment rules associated with soil management.  The new 2015 rules also apply to all agri-environment schemes and the payments received by them.

Changes:

See article attached

 

 

MGA Harvest guide

Thursday, August 27, 2015

 With harvest activity in mind, we have reviewed and updated where necessary, the MGA Maize Harvesting Guide.  We make no apologies for starting this year’s guide with Post Harvest Maize Field Management advice, believing that this area of crop agronomy is vitally important if unhindered maize growing is to continue.  As always we would encourage growers to make use of Simon and John to talk through specifics of harvest if required.

MGA Herbicide guide

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sulphur trial results & spray options

Monday, May 11, 2015

Simon Draper summarises the MGA sulphur trial results and also spray options for this year.

Nitrogen timing on maize

Friday, April 17, 2015

In this second technical note focused on the need for sufficient Nitrogen to optimise crop yield, and as a consequence dilute fixed growing costs, John Morgan focuses on the timing of Nitrogen application to maize ground.  

Cover crops for maize

Friday, April 17, 2015

The interest in cover crops continues to grow, not least due to the inclusion of oversown grass cover crops as one of the five options to meet the Ecological Focus Area (EFA) requirements for Greening within the Basic Payment Scheme.

 

 

 

Top tips for maize in 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

For those who have still to apply organic manures to their maize ground, there is still time, although the application rates will now need be to relatively low to ensure that when ploughed under a thick, anaerobic decomposing layer of material, giving off excessive amounts of hydrogen sulphide,  is not created.   Hydrogen Sulphide gas will kill maize roots that are trying to grow, leading to delayed crop development. 

 

Nitrogen on maize

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

“Maize is Not a Legume” Such a comment is made in response to the commonly held belief that maize has the potential to fulfil its yield potential with little or no applied nitrogen. 

Maize does need nitrogen in a similar way to any other, non leguminous crop, yielding similar volumes of dry matter (DM).  If the nitrogen requirement is not met, either via the soil, organic manures or inorganic fertiliser then crop DM yield will suffer.  

Conference paper - Hans S Ostergaard

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hans gave the conference delegates an update on Danish Maize research, particularly the work on undersowing cover crops and reducing soil nutrient loss.

Conference paper - Professor Mike Wilkinson

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mike talked us through what you need from your maize for the dairy cow and an AD plant.

Conference paper - Mark Wells

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mark (Farm Manager for GEO Gittus) spoke to delegates about Symonds farm in Suffolk, the cropping rotation and how he is getting to grips with eradicating blackgrass. 

Conference paper - Jane Thomas

Friday, February 27, 2015

Jane from NIAB talked us through the history of eyespot in maize and the process of testing varieties for their susceptability.  

Conference paper - James Bell

Friday, February 27, 2015

James, from Rothamsted Research gave delegates an update on two pests that threaten maize crops.  The European Corn Borer and the Western Corn Rootworm.

Conference paper - Simon Draper

Friday, February 27, 2015

Simon updated us on the latest results for the herbicide trials undertaken in 2014 and also explained how the new cross compliance rules will affect maize growers.

Conference paper - Neil Groom

Friday, February 27, 2015

Neil talked about the MGA/SAMCO "maize under plastic film" trials conducted in 2014.