Significant quantities of forage maize are now available for delivery into yards for prices that range between €70-75/t, according to merchants.
Maizetech managing director, John Foley, has indicated that there will “be plenty of maize available this fall”.
“Our own seed sales increased by 25%, year-on-year,” he added.
“A lot of specialist tillage farmers took the decision to opt for maize, rather than spring barley, as the poor weather continued well into the spring.
“Many of these growers will be looking to sell their crops straight from the field. There was a lot of maize harvested in the southeast of the country prior to this week’s storms.”
But Foley also expects that there could be large quantities of maize heading north over the coming weeks.
Folly said the price will likely come in around £63/t, again delivered into yards.
Discussions around maize were on the agenda at a meeting of dairy farmers held at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) business development group, which was hosted by Mark Lewis, who farms at Ahorey in north Co. Armagh.
In relation to the agronomy associated with the growing of maize, Foley told the group that new compostable mulches are working well.
“We now know that the new films will fully decompose within six weeks. So, when used a planting date in early may be advised.
“But there is now ample evidence to confirm that the new will give maize crops a growth boost relative to the older type plastic, the use of which is now banned in the European Union,” he said.
Foley also highlighted that forage maize is a very straightforward crop to grow.
“This is particularly so in ground used for the first and second times,” he said.
“On land that has been used to grow maize for more than two consecutive years, there may be a requirement to come in with an additional herbicide treatment, so as to catch weeds that are growing up between the rows of plastic.”
According to Foley, maize grows best in sheltered fields with medium-loam soils.
“Soil pH is critical, a value of 6.5 is recommended,” he said.
“For farmers wanting to grow maize in fields that were previously in grass, a bit for forward thinking will be required.
“Many grassland fields have a pH value well below 6.0. In these instances, it would be advisable to spread ground limestone at the required rate during the previous autumn,” he added.