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

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. 

The New Cross Compliance Rules for Soil

Monday, December 1, 2014

Members will hopefully be aware by now that the green Soil Protection Review (SPR) booklet which has been around since 2010 will no longer be required from January 1st 2015. Before putting it away one last time however, you should note that there is a continuation sheet for the 2014 year, which needs completing before the end of the year. 

Autumn Cultivations

Monday, December 1, 2014

For fields destined for maize in 2015, decisions have to be taken as to when and how to cultivate in order to provide the best chance for excellent crop growth. 

To make this cultivation decision, the current structure of the soil needs to be investigated via the digging of soil inspection pits (holes) in several spots around the field. Care should be taken when excavating to avoid the spade compacting or smearing the soil to be inspected.  Pits should be dug to the depth of the top soil and the un-compacted spade full or “spit” of soil carefully removed for detailed examination.  

European Maize - Status of the maize crop around Europe

Monday, December 1, 2014

John Morgan & Simon Draper represented the MGA at the European Maize Meeting in September, here is John's report on the status of the maize crop from participating countries.

How Much is Maize Worth?

Monday, September 29, 2014

One of the most common questions being asked of the office team at the moment involves quantifying the value of maize silage, be that for sale or purchase.  The prompts for the questions are varied, although a common theme seems to be the imminent threat/opportunity of an anaerobic digester in the area.  We are more than happy to try and answer the questions that are asked and thought it may also be useful to summarise our views on the various options, in the hope that it proves valuable. 

European Corn Borer

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A recent request by Dr James Bell, a researcher at Rothamsted Research Association for any information we have about the spread of the European Corn Borer (ECB) during 2014 has reminded us that the warm dry weather we have been experiencing recently, while not good for maize eyespot, which needs wet and cooler conditions to develop, is ideal for the spread of ECB. 

The Common Agricultural Policy Reforms

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will bring about change in many areas of farming in 2015. There will be the transfer from the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) to the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), with its new Greening rules, as well as changes to Cross Compliance.  While the fine details have yet to be finalised we thought it may be useful to have a summary of what we know so far. 

The summary has been produced by Laura Gude who works with John at Creedy Associates.  The information presented is to the best of our knowledge correct.  That said, we would urge you to seek individual advice to clarify the facts as they relate to your business.

Maize eyespot

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

With the window for spraying rapidly closing, (the maize crop being waist high) now is the time to decide whether maize eyespot control should be undertaken.

Cover crops for maize

Thursday, May 29, 2014

John Morgan has written a useful article for anyone contemplating over sowing their maize this year. 

With June fast approaching, now is the time that growers should start thinking about oversowing their maize with a green cover crop, that will soak up nitrogen, which if left may well leach to the groundwater.

Useful work in this area continues to be undertaken; both in the UK where DEFRA funded work being undertaken by ADAS, Rothamsted, North Wyke and the MGA on two sites and across Europe.  Leading this oversowing work are the Danes, who as a consequence of the greening options associated with the agricultural support, have legal obligations to oversow much of their maize ground.

 

How much maize have I got?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

During the summer of 2012, the tough year that most of us will want to forget, the MGA produced a mailing which enabled growers to better quantify the volumes of maize they would harvest and as a result make them better able to think about alternatives to fill the clamps, sooner rather than later.  The technical note proved very useful and for this reason we have reproduced it here to aid those keen to better monitor crop performance as this year progresses.

Ten tips for growing maize in 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

Neil Groom, MGA Council member and director of Grainseeds Ltd has written a very topical and helpful article listing 10 top tips for growing maize this year.

Key maize growing issues

Friday, April 4, 2014

Simon Draper gives us an update on maize growing issues this year, including whether to plough or not, what sprays are available, seed rates and fertiliser requirements.

MGA Weed Star Chart 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Simon Draper has updated the MGA weed star chart, which is included in the mailing, its a very useful, easy to use guide.

 

Weed control in maize 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Maize drilling has been moving on a pace and with the slightly warmer temperatures in some parts of the country; maize has already germinated and has reached the 1 - 2 leaf stage.

Get out and take a look!

Maize under plastic in South Devon

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A visit to Graeme and brother Patrick Cocks farm nr Ashburton in Devon confirmed one of the key benefits of establishing maize under plastic. 

Graeme and his team were cultivating and drilling maize on the April 5th being able to take advantage of the dry if not cold conditions to get crops in the ground almost a month before many would consider establishing maize without film cover.

Drilling maize this spring

Monday, March 25, 2013

As you all know maize does not like compaction of any sort and so it is going to be a challenge to try and get a reasonable growing medium in many fields. This technical note will, hopefully give you some ideas as to how to go about producing a viable seedbed for this year’s crop.  Finally, a word of caution as each field should be treated individually, please take the enclosed suggestions as general rather than definitive advice.

Costs of forage production

Monday, March 25, 2013

John Morgan has updated the costs of forage production for grazed grass, grass silage, maize wholecrop, fodder beet kale and Italian ryegrass.

Lessons learnt from 2012

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

John Morgan reviews the maize season of 2012 and discusses the lessons we can learn from a bad maize growing year.

Nitrogen Predictor form

Monday, January 14, 2013

Variety choice made, the next thing on the maize 2012 list will be how much fertiliser will the crop need?  With this in mind, we would encourage members to use the MGA Nitrogen Predictor to calculate their bagged fertiliser nitrogen requirements.  

The Nitrogen predictor, originally designed ten or so years ago takes into account location, soil conditions, target drilling and harvest dates, as well as the nutrient content of any manures applied, to come up with a bagged nitrogen requirement for the crop.  The predictor is well proven over time, with farmer feedback over the years being used to update the original research based systems. 

The predictor has also been used by farmers to justify their nitrogen applications to NVZ inspectors and therefore, goes some way to meet the NVZ record keeping requirements.  Fill in and return the enclosed N predictor input form to get the ball rolling.

Harvesting maize in a difficult season

Monday, October 22, 2012

Maize in the drier and warmer eastern half of the country is generally average /good and harvest is now underway.  In the west a different story has developed, with many crops having struggled for a multitude of reasons from drilling.

With such a contrast in conditions and crop growth stage, working out the right date for harvest will be very difficult.  This task will be particularly difficult for growers with stunted crops, which may or may not have a viable cob. 

The good news is that the warmer weather of September has advanced crop maturity in all areas and even many of those with stunted crops now have cobs, which given time will lay down starch.  Ironically if the starch is laid down in these stunted crops, then overall maize quality could be good.  Yields will of course be down considerably.

The advice here is to 'wait as long as you dare' to ensure that the cobs have as much starch in as possible. That said, it cannot be forgotten that delaying harvest is not generally a good idea, as poor harvest conditions and frost can cause as much of a yield loss as is trying to be gained by delaying the harvest for maximum starch yield.

How much maize have I got

Saturday, July 7, 2012

John Morgan has produced a "guide" to working out what yield to expect from your maize this year.  This involves counting plants and estimating the yield.

Maize and the weather in 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Simon Draper gives us some useful advice on what to do and expect from the maize this year. 

 

Maize not germinating - time to panic?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

With a lot maize drilled into the good conditions in early April and with the following wet and cold weather, the maize unsurprisingly is very slow to get going.

 Simon Draper gives us some useful advice for drilling in these wet conditions.

Cold & Wet - Ideal conditions for maize?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Simon Draper talks about the conditions this spring and gives advice on what we should be doing, whether we have already drilled or are waiting for conditions to improve.

Results of the Grain Maize Trials 2008-11 published

Friday, March 16, 2012

Click to see full results of all varieties.

Maize within my low cost milk production system

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gavin Fowler ( 2011 Dairy Farmer of the Year, Farmers Weekly)  explains his farming system and how maize continues to play an important role on his North Devon farm.

MGA Research 2011 - Cultivation options, maize cut at different heights, organic manures.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Neil Groom from Grainseeds organised the trials that included cultivation options and fuel costs, the quality of maize cut at different heights and organic manures on growing crops.  His report is included in the agronomy section and environment.

Organic Maize growing guide

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The MGA have produced an Organic maize growers guide.  There are several members successfully growing maize organically.

Starlings/Winter Feed Presentation - Steve Turner

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vet Steve Turner reviewed the practical and financial impact of starling infestations at the recent MGA Birds and Maize Meeting held in Somerset. 

 

Birds and Maize meeting Paddy Gordon

Monday, November 7, 2011

Paddy Gordons, Vet with the Shepton Vet Group, presentation to the Birds and Maize meeting November 2011

The Economics of Maize under plastic

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

John Morgan reviews the current economics of maize grown under plastic.  He looks at research work done in Ireland and Northern Ireland and compares the costs and benefits of maize with and without plastic.

Harvesting maize in wet conditions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Simon Draper advises members on how to safely harvest maize in wet conditions and prevent soil erosion and run off.

Maize Under Plastic -

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

John Morgans presentation at Marginal Maize Meeting, 20/9/2011

2011 Maize Variety Booklet/List

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guidance on variety choice including MGA Variety selector.

MGA Harvest Guide 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

An updated guide to maize harvesting in 2011  Includes: Dry matter at harvest, chop length, additives, salt, filling and sheeting the pit, post harvest cultivations, mycotoxins and control of eyespot, biogas maize, grain maize and corn cob mix.

MGA Conference Papers 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Full copy of the 2011 MGA conference held at Harper Adams University College in February 2011

  • Crimped maize grain for finishing beef cattle - Simon Marsh
  • Grain maize opportunities - Alistair House
  • MGA Research results - Simon Draper - Cultivation, starter fertiliser, drilling dates,seed size and dressings, variety type, slurry, nitrogen, foliar feeds, herbicides, pastic
  • Maize growing in Germany
  • Anaerobic digestion on my farm - Stephen Temple

 

Rat Problems in Maize

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Members will we hope, remember a recent request to take part on what is thought to be the first ever national study focusing on rat problems associated with maize. The study coordinated via BASF Pest Control Solutions has come up with both expected and surprising conclusions. 

Maize stubble and runoff problems

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Richard Smith from the Environment Agency gives us important advice on preventing runoff from maize stubbles.

Climate change, what effect for farmers?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Following a Defra stakeholder meeting David Munday reports on the effects of climate change.