Grain Maize

Grain Maize

Gradual climate change alongside a more focused UK maize variety breeding program has enabled Grain Maize to be grown consistently in much of the UK.  Grain maize economics compare well with small grain alternatives and the crop provides a great break crop opportunity both agronomic ally and machinery/labour wise.  MGA grain maize resources focus on agronomy and post harvest management of the crop.

 
 

Resources: Grain Maize

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

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 - 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 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

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.

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. 

 

Costs of forage production

Friday, April 17, 2015

John Morgan has updated the costs of forage production for 2015

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 - 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. 

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.

Post emergence weed control for maize 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

With the maize now emerging it is vitally important to ensure good weed control at the early stage of the crops life and any tiny weeds should be controlled - do not wait until the weeds are as big as the maize as yield losses will have already been caused. 

Simon Draper lists the herbicides available and the weeds they kill.

 

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.

update No 6 - Post emergence applications of nitrogen to the maize crop

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Simons latest update on fertiliser applications to the growing maize crop.

14th May Maize Agronomy Update

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Simon Drapers 14th May Maize Agronomy Note is now avaiable.