Welcome to our Maize growing guide
The 2023 maize season has highlighted again that the single most important factor which influences a successful outcome at harvest is the weather. And this is (almost) completely out of our control! Areas of the country that had the right sort of rain at the right time in the season have had bumper yields. Other areas which suffered low rainfall have been less fortunate, and crop yields have suffered.
Variety selection is certainly important, and the 2024 Forage Maize Descriptive List is a valuable guide. The headline strengths of the varieties, such as maturity, DM yield and feed value are clearly laid out, but these are only part of the story. The Descriptive List also shows the weaknesses of certain varieties, which should be taken into consideration. Poor standing orlow disease ratings could give rise to significant losses under adverse conditions.
However, the grower’s influence is of even greater significance than variety genetics, yet often the agronomics of the crop receive insufficient attention. It is widely accepted that cultivations, sowing date, seed rate, sowing depth, weed control etc. are important. Less thought is given to adequate and well-timed crop nutrition and biostimulation, and this is where huge gains can be made.
Discover our range of helpful articles on every aspect of maize growing, written by Wynnstay specialist and guest writers from some of the country's leading providers. Click here to view more.
Growing maize with beans at Berry Hill Farm
In his second year of growing maize in tandem with beans, Jonathan Evans of Berry Hill Farm in Pembrokeshire has learned some valuable lessons, particularly in terms of crop establishment, variety selection and the importance of weed control.
Innovative methods of crop nutrition gain more ground
The increase in the cost of fertiliser products has prompted many growers to consider new and innovative ways to ensure their crops receive adequate nutrition.
The timing of nutritional inputs to the maize crop is usually early in the season, either applied to the seedbed
pre-drilling, or early post-emergence up to the 4- 6 leaf stage.
Early maturing maize proves pivotal in rotation
The key to maize fitting into the rotation and also the operational schedule at Swan Farm is the use of a very early maturing variety, with Limagrain’s Gema fitting the bill well for the past two years.