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

Maize Undersowing

Monday, May 11, 2020

Introduction to 2020 Trials

Monday, May 11, 2020

Weed Control for 2020 Season

Monday, May 11, 2020

Growing Maize Right

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

An article from John Morgan on best practice maize drilling for 2020.

Drilling 2020

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Simon Draper's latest article on things to think about for the upcoming drilling season. 

MGA Conference Review

Friday, March 13, 2020

Review of the 2020 Conference by John Morgan. Presentations are under 'Resources'. For more info, contact the office.

2019 MGA Trials Results Review

Friday, March 13, 2020

Review of the 2019 MGA Trials with key points by Sarah. For more information, get in touch with the office.

Sustainable intensification in European agriculture

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Our overseas speaker, Friedhelm Taube,'s presentation from the 2020 Conference on Thursday 6th February.

Fostering Populations Of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Through Cover Crop Choices and Soil Management

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Paper from one of our 'Blue Sky Thinking' speakers, George Crane from the 2020 Conference on 6th February.

A role for Agriculture in achieving UK’s ‘Net Zero’ Ambitions?

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Paper from one of our 'Blue Sky Thinkers' Jem Woods at our MGA 2020 Conference on 6th February.

MGA Trials Presentation

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Presentation by Neil Groom on the seed treatment, drilling depth, undersowing, eyespot and cover crop trials organised by the MGA in 2019.

MGA Trials Presentation

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Presentation of MGA 2019 Biostimulant and placement fertiliser trials by Oli Knowland at the 2020 Conference on 6th February

Dairy nutrition research at Nottingham

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Phil Garnsworthy's presentation on Dairy Nutrition Research at University of Nottingham from MGA Conference 2020 on 6th February

DeepGenes Functional characterization of genes enhancing soil exploration in maize

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Presentation from our 'Blue Sky Thinking' section on the DeepGenes project by Riccardo Fusi at our 2020 Conference on 6th February.

Maize Crop Harvest

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Presentation from MGA Chairman, John Jackson, on his experience of harvest this year and what can be learned from this. Introduction to the MGA Conference 2020 on 6th February.

Late Harvested Maize

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Mike Wilkinson's January article on things to look out for in late-harvested maize.

Conference Invite

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

2020 Conference invite and booking information

Things to Think About for Next Year

Monday, September 30, 2019

Simon's report on things that the grower should be thinking about once harvest is over ready for next year.

European Maize Meeting Review

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sarah's report on this year's European Maize Meeting held in Nottingham at the beginning of September. If you have any questions, or would like to request copies of the papers presented, please email or phone the office.

Case Study: Stephen Temple

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Case study of council member Stephen Temple in Norfolk focusing on his conversion to Conservation Agriculture.

Effects of Weather on Maize Yield

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A technical article from Mike Wilkinson on the effects of different weather patterns on maize yield

Post-Harvest Cover or Catch Crops

Friday, June 14, 2019

A technical note from John on choosing and implementing cover crops

Undersowing

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A note from John Morgan on undersowing

Nitrogen Predictor Form

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Our N Predictor Data Entry Form has had a revamp - hopefully it is a little more user-friendly and now allows for more options when recording organic nitrogen that has previously been applied.

Please print off or fill in a copy and post or email to Sarah in the office; we will aim to respond to you quickly as we can.

Navigating Brexit Conference Paper 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Have a read of the NFU's actions and outlook with regards to Brexit and find out what it all means for farmers with Tori Morgan's presentation.

Clean Air Strategy

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Observant members amongst you will have noticed that there are changes in how we manage ammonia emissions being proposed in the Clean Air Strategy 2018 recently published by the government. 

 While the strategy has yet to be finalised, several key principles have been established and should be considered by growers when planning their organic manure, including digestate, and manufactured nitrogen applications in future. 

See John's article in Environment section of the website.

 

European maize meeting report

Thursday, November 1, 2018

In early September John Morgan and Simon Draper attended the European Maize Meeting (EMM), this year held in Belgium, on behalf of the MGA.  The meeting, hosted jointly by the Belgian maize  organisations, Uclouvain and CIPF, was held in Gembloux, approximately 50 km south east of Brussels and as in the past consisted of three elements.

 A classroom-based session when the Status of the Maize Crop in different countries was outlined by our hosts.

 This year’s chosen subject was Undersowing and the Impact of Undersowing on Nutrient and Soil retention.

Moving silage

Thursday, November 1, 2018

 

In his latest Technical Note for MGA members, Mike Wilkinson outlines procedures for moving silage from one place to another prior to use.  Mike can be contacted via the MGA office.

 Silage is in short supply and may have to be moved from one site to another before use. The material may have been stored in a bunker or temporary unwalled heap (field clamp or pile) some distance from place of use because existing silo capacity was inadequate, or because insufficient silage was made on site to meet demand.

Costs of production

Monday, August 20, 2018

The latest in the Costs of Forage Production series is based on average yields and quality.  Costs of production are assume contractors undertaking establishment and annual management tasks with crop nutrients being supplied by straight inorganic (bagged) fertiliser.  No feed out costs or waste are included. 

 

Westerwolds offer a real opportunity

Monday, August 20, 2018

The hot, dry conditions have hit/ obliterated most second and third cut silages, as well as impacting on many maize crops, to the point that many growers are currently short of grazed grass as well as being down on forage stocks for the winter.  The likely early harvest of maize this autumn and recent rain does offer some opportunities to fill the forage gaps, as do extending grazing in the autumn and hopefully next spring. 

Droughted maize - Don't panic yet

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Costs of Forage Production (June 2018)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Average growing costs for Grazed Grass, Silage, Maize with and without film, Wholecrop, Fodder Beet, Kale, Stubble Turnips can be viewed and downloaded.

Getting ready for maize 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Producing a seedbed

As a result of the wet, cold and snowy conditions throughout so much of the country during February and March, establishing this year’s maize seed bed will inevitably be a challenge for many.  The good news is that if fields have been ploughed there should have been sufficient frost action to enable the generation of a seedbed without resorting to the power harrow.  The aim has to be to develop a seed bed that allows roots to get down to depth quickly, without hindrance of pans which can result, as a consequence of using power harrows in the wrong circumstances.

MGA Trials programme 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Last week saw the approval of the 2018 MGA research programme, the field work of which will take place during the upcoming growing season.  Results will be presented at the next MGA conference (2019).  The results for the 2017 trials are now on line.

What and why? – Using data from last summers membership survey and consultation within the MGA council, Simon Draper has coordinated the production of a set of Research Proposals which have been sent to  contractors for quotations.  Quotes are now in and tenders offered. 

During 2018 we propose to run trials ranging from weed control to crop nutrition.  The MGA research programme runs alongside work being undertaken on behalf of the British Society of Plant Breeders BSPB (partly funded by the MGA) into maize variety testing and disease tolerance.

Nitrogen Predictor Form

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Nigtrogen Predictor Form - Download and return to the MGA office

MGA Herbicide trial report 2017

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fertiliser trial report 2017

Monday, March 12, 2018

Maize Charter - CSF Case Study No1

Sunday, February 25, 2018

With support from Catchment Sensitive  Farming (CSF) we have revisited research, demonstration and advisory work done along  with CSF over recent years and produced case studies summarising the key lessons learnt.   

This Case Study focuses on the Dorset Maize Charter 

Undersowing Maize - CSF Case Study No2

Sunday, February 25, 2018

With support from Catchment Sensitive  Farming (CSF) we have revisited research, demonstration and advisory work done along  with CSF over recent years and produced case studies summarising the key lessons learnt.   

This Case Study focuses on undersowing maize to retain nutrient and soil over the subsequent winter period. 

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.