Superb harvest triggers an increasing craze for maize
On the back of superb maize crops this year, many farmers and contractors are looking at getting into or, indeed, increasing their acreage of the crop next year.
There are several reasons for this. It has proven itself to be an excellent source of energy in feeding rations over the winter months.
In addition, the varieties of the crop have progressed to the extent that not only can it be grown almost anywhere in the country under plastic, but more growers are now looking at sowing the crop without the use of plastic at all.
This is because the plants are now able to mature faster, even in Irish conditions.
The crop is also providing tillage growers who relied on sugar beet as a break crop in the past, an alternative to keep their cereal rotations working.
Contract growing of maize is also catching on with agricultural contractors who wish to spread the cost of their silage and tillage equipment over a greater acreage.
This can be a win-win situation for the end user of the crop, generally a dairy farmer, who wishes to expand production but is constrained by land availability.