27 March 2015 | Online since 2003



10 December 2012|Cereal,News

Value of growing maize questioned on some farms


With one of the wettest summers on record already having made this autumn’s maize harvest one of the most challenging for years, independent business consultants are now also questioning the longer term potential of the crop in the UK because of its low dry matter and protein yield.

“In our area many dairy farmers grossly overestimate the tonnage of dry matter in their maize silage clamp,” says Adrian Caine from P&L AgriConsulting based in Shropshire. “And this year it’s particularly noticeable; some units we work with have thought they had harvested around six or seven tonnes of dry matter, when it’s actually more like three or four.

“There is a fair amount of soil contamination in clamps this year. We are seeing quite a lot of bloat – which could suggest listeria and clostridial disease problems – simply because of the difficult harvesting conditions along with damaged soil structure. And you can’t afford to lose soil through the gateway either because of cross compliance.”

In addition, Adrian says that with the costs of bought in protein continuing to escalate and straw breaking through the £100 per tonne barrier, a lot of farms would be far better off using their maize land for growing mature cereals such as wheat, barley or oats.

“The mantra is making more from what you grow. On a cost basis the dry matter of maize, grass for silage and cereals are about the same. But with the alkaline preservation of cereal grains you have more control over the nutritional value of the crop, as well as the opportunity to gain more spin off benefits,” he maintains.

“Harvesting the crop in the summer is easier, you don’t have to dry it, you can make good use of the straw by-product and even sow a follow-on crop such as grass well before the autumn seeding window closes. There is an undoubted link between profitability and utilisation of land; and poor utilisation of land with current rental costs or purchase prices is inexcusable.

“But with crops such as Alkagrain – where urea and soya pellets have been used to aggressively release ammonia into the crop – you really can make the most of your own acres’ potential by producing a highly stable, high energy, high protein feed that can replace concentrates.”


Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


9 March 2015
Real Estate NQ
Clients span a range of sectors, although the practice is particularly reputed for its work in the agriculture, waste, charit...

10 March 2015
INTERNAL SALES EXECUTIVE
The full product offering can be installed in all fluid handling systems from food, dairy, brewery processing to the pharmace...

9 March 2015
Research Fellow
We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher work on a project funded by the Medical Research Council. The proje...

16 March 2015
QA Manager
My client is currently specialising in providing innovative and cost – effective solutions to food agriculture, pharmaceutica...

13 March 2015
Tranee service engineer
Unique within the dairy sector Lely distribute Robotic Dairy and Cow Care products through the highly successful Lely Center ...




Top stories you may have missed
23 March 2015 | Cattle

UK butchers face difficulties to recruit...

Butchers in the UK are losing a generation through lack of training opportu...


20 March 2015 | Arable

Dust - the secret fertiliser?

NASA research has revealed how dust blown from the Sahara desert helps supp...


19 March 2015 | Arable

The Budget 2015: A Farmer's Budget?

“In the run up to the Budget 2015 most commentators were predicting that th...


17 March 2015 | News

UK's first floating solar power system l...

The UK’s first fully operational floating solar panel system has been unvei...


13 March 2015 | Animal Health

Labour and Conservatives clash over badg...

Axing the badger cull in England and Wales will save more than £120 million...


12 March 2015 | News

Solar could be cheapest energy source by...

By 2025, solar power could become one of the cheapest forms of energy in ma...


11 March 2015 | Finance

English buyers turn their attention to S...

Demand for Scottish farm land remains strong and continues to be better val...


9 March 2015 | Cattle

2020 vision for the Welsh red meat indus...

The Welsh red meat industry should aim to increase sales by at least 34 per...


6 March 2015 | News

MP raises egg industry concerns on trans...

Fears about the impact that a proposed transatlantic trade agreement could ...


Stay safe and legal when flying drones

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Aircraft Systems - or dron...