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

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 - 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. 

Conference paper - Oliver Knowland

Friday, February 27, 2015

Oliver gave us a summary of the Biogas trials from 2014

MGA Maize Variety Booklet 2015

Monday, December 22, 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.

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.


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.

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. 

Agronomy update 30th April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Simon Draper's latest update on drilling maize this Spring.

17th April 2014 Agronomy Update

Monday, April 21, 2014

Simons latest update is available by clicking on the link. 

14 April Maize Agronomy Update

Monday, April 14, 2014

Follow the link to download the latest update from Simon Draper MGA agronomist. 

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.

Irish Recommended Forage Maize Variety List 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

The 2012 Irish Recommended Forage Maize Variety List provides independent guidance on variety choice for maize grown with and without plastic.  The list should form a key part of UK growers variety choice for 2013 as no maize independent under plastic variety trials are undertaken here.

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.

Maize crops turning yellow?

Friday, August 10, 2012

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. 


How much maize have I got?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The cold and wet weather during the spring and summer has put many maize crops under pressure with concerns now being raised as to the yield and quality of the forage that will be harvested.  With options of home grown or even purchased wholecrop still available now is the time to work out where you stand.

 How much maize will I get?

This year’s maize yields are under threat due to the cold and wet conditions.  Early drilled maize, where it got away before the rain, has to a large extent stalled.  That drilled early into soils that have subsequently capped has struggled to breakthrough with plant populations severely hit in some cases.  Later drilled maize has avoided the early pitfalls but it is also struggling to grow in far from ideal conditions.  All the above will at best delay maize harvest but in many cases will also impact on crop yield. 

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.

MGA Herbicide Guide 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Each year Simon Draper updates the popular herbicide star chart.  This chart lists all the relevant sprays used in the control of weeds and their effectiveness in controlling the most common grass and broad leaved weeds found in maize crops.

Early drilling in 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simon gives us some useful tips for earluy planting of maize this year.

MGA Conference - Agrinexus Ltd: Crop and Condition Specific Forage Inoculants

Friday, March 16, 2012

Andrew May from Agrinexus talks about crop and condition specific forage inoculants Lactisil and silosolve brands