Maize 'to rise 50pc'
The total area of land sown to maize next year could increase by 50pc, Teagasc tillage expert Jim O'Mahony has predicted.
Maize coverage could reach 30,000ha next year, he maintained, as farmers realise its benefits as a break crop.
The average maize area has hovered at around 20,000-25,000ha in recent years.
"Maize yields were very satisfactory this year and there are some very promising varieties available," he said.
"Given the drive for dairy expansion, the area of maize could increase significantly in the coming years.
"Maize cut at high dry matter means farmers are not drawing around water, compared to silage."
Meanwhile, oilseed rape sowings are also expected to increase next year.
Good price prospects for next season, excellent sowing conditions and its break crop potential mean that up to 9,000ha of winter oilseed rape has been sown this year, compared to just 4,000ha in 2009, records show.