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

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

MGA Conference - Envirosystems: Back to Basics

Friday, March 16, 2012

Liz Russell from Envirosystems discusses a whole farm approach to growing your profit from every litre of slurry

MGA Conference - Plantsyence: Advance66

Friday, March 16, 2012

Edmund Stevens of Plantsyence talks about Advance66 and the importance of Phosphorous for a good maize crop.

MGA Conference - Syngenta: weed control

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gary Jobling from Syngenta discusses the importance of early season weed control for increasing yield potential.

MGA Conference - Grainseed Ltd: fertilisers

Friday, March 16, 2012

Neil Groom of Grainseed Ltd talks about the different options available from his firm for fertilisers.

Results of the Grain Maize Trials 2008-11 published

Friday, March 16, 2012

Click to see full results of all varieties.

Growing Maize for Bioenergy

Friday, March 2, 2012

John Burgess from KWS gives us an objective view on the maize crop options, be they breeding, agronomy and or quality for biogas production in the UK.

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 Herbicide Trial Research results 2011

Friday, March 2, 2012

Simon Draper reports on the herbicide trials done by the MGA in 2011.

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.

MGA 1st choice varieties for favourable sites

Friday, December 23, 2011

Variety data is this year presented in a Favourable and non Favourable site list.  Data is generated from the independent NIAB trials programme supported by the British Society of Plant Breeders and the MGA.  Only first choice varieties are listed in the MGA tables.


2011 Northan Irish Maize Variety List (includes plastic)

Friday, December 2, 2011

 The Northern Irish Maize Variety list is a must read document for those growing maize with or without plastic in marginal areas.


2011 Southern Irish Maize Variety List (includes plastic)

Friday, December 2, 2011

 The southern Irish Recommended Maize Variety List includes data on varieties grown with an without plastic and should prove invaluable for those choosing varieties in marginal areas.

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.

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 Ready to Go?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Maize harvest is upon us, some MGA members have already harvested this year's maize crop, but many farmers are still waiting for the cobs to ripen.  Chris Savery gives members some excellent advice on dry matter, clamping and sheeting down the maize to get the best from what has been a difficult year for many maize growers. 

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.

Post emergence weed control 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Useful tips for controlling weeds in this dry spring.

Weed Star Guide 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Guide to spray options and what to choose for what weed.

Dry weather and drilling

Friday, April 1, 2011

Simon Draper has given some useful tips for drilling maize in these dry conditions.

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