Know How / Maize

Whether it is grown for anaerobic digestion, for livestock feed or grain, maize is being grown more widely and is being seen as a valuable addition to rotation. Our maize page aims to help you grow a more profitable crop.

This is your starting point for addressing challenges such as disease and weed control, choosing the right varieties and protecting the environment.

Key areas of focus:

  • Getting establishment right
  • Planning fungicide strategy
  • Keeping on top of weeds
  • Choosing the right varieties for the right market

Case studies

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Why a Dorset farmer is undersowing maize with field beans

Dorset dairy farmer James Houghton is planting field beans beneath a crop of maize in a trial which he hopes will boost the protein content of feed and potentially reduce…


How undersowing can help soils and bring grazing income

Undersowing maize with companion grass mixes as winter grazing for sheep is returning a profit for a Welsh livestock farm, while also protecting soils. Mathew Van Dijk undersowed 5ha (12…


How maize shredlage aids digestion in dairy rations

Feeding maize shredlage is helping a Dorset dairy farm maintain a rolling milk butterfat average of 4.2%. Joe and Sam Foot harvest all the maize they grow for their dairy…


How maize undersown with grass provides two-fold benefit

For the past six years, David Pursey has undersown maize with Italian ryegrass to protect against soil erosion and provide a post-lambing spring bite for ewes and lambs. “We decided…


How forage maize no-till system cuts costs and improves soil

No two years are the same in farming, as Max Tite’s experience of growing maize with minimal soil disturbance shows. But, with the right weather conditions, he has found that…


How one Devon farmer is succeeding with strip-till maize

Devon grower James Lee is a keen advocate of minimum tillage on his soils in the wetter West, but when it comes to sowing maize it carries unique challenges. Ideally,…

Practical advice

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6 top maize growing tips to help livestock producers

Results from a new survey of maize growers have revealed valuable cropping knowledge which can be shared to help livestock producers get more from their crop. Nearly 100 producers, with…


3 ways to get the best results from maize crops

Making use of cover crops, adopting mechanical weed control practices, and fine-tuning the timing and depth of drilling can all help optimise maize production, according to the latest research by…


Advice on clamping maize as harvest nears end

Maize is being harvested in all areas of the UK, with good yields reported from the field. The heavy rain last week halted work for a few days, but the…


5 cultivation and establishment methods compared

Establishment systems cover varying degrees of soil movement, from relatively little disturbance associated with direct-drilling and min-till through to deep cultivations and complete inversion with the likes of ploughing. Each…


What are the pros and cons of min-till maize?

There are two types of min-till systems: deeper min-till and shallow min-till. Deeper min-till involves cultivating to a depth of 22.5-25cm using a machine like a subsoiler with a leg…


How undersowing maize with grass can cut N leaching

Nitrogen (N) leaching can be reduced by 61% – the equivalent of 20kg of N/ha – when maize is undersown with grass, a recent trial has demonstrated. Bright Maize, in…


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How to cut silage spoilage and on-farm plastic with HOB film

Opting for high-oxygen barrier (HOB) films instead of black plastic sheets has been shown to reduce silage clamp losses from 15% to 7%. This could go some way towards protecting…


Can silicon crop sprays benefit growers this season?

Despite silicon being the world’s second most abundant element, making up 25% of the earth's crust, crops can still benefit from its application, which has a vital role in plant…


Soil carbon: Targets and how to store it in arable fields

Farmers have a huge opportunity to help combat climate change by reducing emissions with the adoption of less intensive cultivations, as well as capturing and storing carbon in their fields. …


Can microbials replace chemicals for crop protection?

Microbial-based products in agriculture have over-promised and under-delivered. However, the first high-performing microbials may only be two to three years away and by the end of the decade there will…


How ‘chemichanical’ approach is aiding maize production

About 180,000ha of maize is grown in Denmark, with the majority of production concentrated in the South West. However, continuous rotations and a reduced chemical armoury mean weed control is…


6 companies offering carbon-based payments to arable farmers

From government-backed schemes to voluntary private markets, there has been an explosion of interest in developing carbon and additional ecosystem service credits that could provide a new income stream for…


The rules for arable farming in an NVZ in England

Nitrate vulnerable zones (NVZs) account for about 55% of land in England, making it more likely than not that a farming enterprise is within a designated NVZ. So with NVZs…


How maize silage analysis can reduce fertiliser spend

German growers are using maize silage crude protein levels to gauge the next year’s fertiliser requirements, resulting in reduced leaching and input costs.   Crude protein levels of 8-8.5% in…


How farmers may benefit from new way of paying for pesticides

Paying for pesticides and seed based on the yield responses seen in the field could help farmers manage some of the risks of growing crops and trying out new technologies.…


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Video: How 3 farmers spruced up their spray stores

Having the right spray store set-up will help growers stay on the right side of the law, keep valuable spray stocks safe from criminals and save spray operators a significant…


How growing maize with beans can improve silage quality

Intercropping of maize and climbing beans is gaining ground among German farmers keen to improve the quality of their silage. Yields and protein content are particularly promising when the two…

VIDEO: Why does Brazil believe in GM crops?

Brazil is a country with vast agricultural resources and is a net exporter of agricultural and food products. FW’s Business Editor Ian Ashbridge has been on a week’s tour to…


Video: How to sample your soil for analysis

The quieter winter months are a prime time to get a snapshot of the state of soils and consider any adjustments to maximise fertility and crop potential. Unlike most other…