8 December 2000

WHENMAIZEISTOPCHOICE

MAIZE, not grass, is the order of the day for cows in Severn Trent Waters herd. Produced at a cost of less than £10/t, it is a far more reliable crop than grass in this low rainfall area, says herd manager John Jackson.

"Soil is sandy loam and annual rainfall is in the mid 20in range. Grass doesnt grow well here and cows only graze for five hours a day in summer."

Having 180ha (450 acres) of maize to harvest each year allows competitive contracting prices to be negotiated, says Mr Jackson. "We negotiate three years ahead which allows both us and the contractor to budget with confidence."

This years maize crop has been harvested in two batches in mid and late October. Yield is 38t/ha (15t/acre) (see below). &#42

WHENMAIZEISTOPCHOICE

MAIZE, not grass, is the order of the day for cows in Severn Trent Waters herd. Produced at a cost of less than £10/t, it is a far more reliable crop than grass in this low rainfall area, says herd manager John Jackson.

"Soil is sandy loam and annual rainfall is in the mid 20in range. Grass doesnt grow well here and cows only graze for five hours a day in summer."

Having 180ha (450 acres) of maize to harvest each year allows competitive contracting prices to be negotiated, says Mr Jackson. "We negotiate three years ahead which allows both us and the contractor to budget with confidence."

This years maize crop has been harvested in two batches in mid and late October. Yield is 38t/ha (15t/acre) (see below). &#42

Severn Trent Water

maize costs


ha

Yield 38t/ha

Income

Area aid £88

Expenditure

Cultivation £115

Seed £115

Sprays £53

Forager £55

Haulage £38

Clamping £38

Total £414

Cost/t £8.58

Roll, roll, roll, is the secret of good maize silage, according to John Jackson.