It’s time to consider Maize again.  Whether you are a regular grower, someone who has grown in the past or maybe you are considering growing maize for the very first time, now is certainly the time to think about forage maize for 2020 and into the future. Southern Fuel & Farm Supplies, Munster’s premier supplier and innovator’s of Maize seed, sprays and film.

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Maize - Cork - Midleton - Southern Fuel & Farm Supplies Ltd
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Diagnosing Emergence Issues

See below a great article re diagnosing emergence issues, written by Gary Brinkman, CCA, CPAg, Pioneer Field Agronomist.

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10 good reasons to think about Maize Silage;
  1. Top quality, high starch energy forage that cows and cattle love to eat, and where top animal performance (Milk or Beef) is demanded.
  2.  Cheaper to produce that first cut grass silage, or first and second cut grass silage combined or even a 3 three cut grass silage system combined.
  3. Cows or cattle offered Maize silage along with grass silage or grazed grass will have  higher dry matter intakes than the same animals on a single forage / grazed grass diet.
  4. Each acre can bring in over 3 tonne of maize meal (fine meal) into the silage pit in every acre harvested. 
  5. In the diet of spring calving cows can significantly help fill the short fall in the energy gap these cows suffer in the spring when grazed grass can be so variable even on a daily basis.
  6. Is a consistent and reliable high quality forage when grown on suitable land and when grown under plastic always achieves yields to more than cover its cost.
  7. Fits in easily as an additional forage on any farms where grass silage is utilised, the same silos, feed out system and handling equipment is used.  (No washing & chopping or preparing)
  8. 12 acres of Maize (grown under plastic) will supply the same quantity of forage as 20 acres of grass silage (2 cut system.)  It will have the additional benefit of bringing over 36 to of Maize Meal / acre into the pit.
  9. When renting / leasing suitable land for forage production,  maize silage will give the best return on this investment.
  10. Crop production can efficiently utilise large quantities of cattle or pig slurry thereby further and significantly reducing the cost of bagged fertiliser on this crop.

Forage Maize is a simple crop to grow provided  the basics are got right. Much simpler that wheat, barley or beet, potatoes etc. The right field, with a good soil at the correct soil Ph and given the appropriate crop inputs with the right levels of slurry / fertiliser will always give a more than cost effective return.  While Maize is a high input – high output crop, the fact is,  it is one of the cheapest quality forages available to farmers today.  It’s the ideal crop for the busy livestock farmer particularly the Dairyman.  Without doubt it’s the most ideal and cost effective forage when grown on leased or rented land.  

Almost everything about the success, happens at the beginning of the crop. Once things are got right then, the preparation and particularly on sowing day itself.  95% of crops will need little attention again until harvest time. Where secondary attention is required it is more often than not to deal with a difficult weed issue or a trace element deficiency which can generally be corrected immediately once spotted on time and something that from there on is a known and may be possible to deal with before sowing maize again in the following year. Like with most very valuable crops, solid and sound technical support and advice along with a regular crop monitoring service over the growing season is very important, it’s a necessity, and almost critical to ensure that in the 5 % or so of crops that need secondary attention, that they get it and get it on time.  

The team at Southern Fuel & Farm Supplies Ltd are among the best in Ireland when it comes to expertise with Forage Maize.  Maurice Smiddy Managing Director at Southern Fuel and Farm Supplies is involved with the maize Crop and growers since the very start of its life in Ireland from 1988 onwards. He and his team of Con McCarthy,  Mark Hosford and John Roche in Cork have vast experience when it comes to this crop.

The long term association with Pioneer Du-Pont one of the world’s oldest and most respected Maize Plant Breeding companies gives us the strength and dept of knowledge to deal with anything the Maize Crop can throw at us. 

We will not be found wanting when it comes to the most competitive prices for our customers for all crop inputs including Seed, Degradable  Plastic, and Crop Chemicals for the 2020 season.  Of course the real value for our customers is in the continuous help and advice and season long field crop monitoring service we provide. Which plays a huge part in the success our customers achieve in terms of Yield, Quality and Animal Performance which is really what all customers want from us and from their Maize Silage.

Cost benefits of Maize
Why grow maize ?

High forage yield in a single cut. ( 60 ton / ha )

High Dry Matter, high starch forage ( 30% plus )

✅ Extremely cost effective ( Teagasc cost and returns 2017 The cost per tonne dry matter utilised for maize is approximately €107  versus first cut grass silage at €130/tonne DM utilised ) Teagasc cost & Returns

✅ Slowly degradable starch

✅ High forage intakes

Ideal buffer for spring and autumn grass

✅ Organic Manure / Slurry utilisation

✅ Improved animal performance and health

✅ Consistent forage quality where grown under film

✅ When maize is fed as part of a balanced diet it has the potential to lift milk yield and composition in the dairy herd and increase daily weight gains in beef cattle.

Maize Testimonials Recent Grower: Peter Mc Carthy West Cork.

• Peter is milking 100 Holstein Friesian cows in West Cork.

• The cows are spilt calving with 60% in the spring and 40% autumn.

• The average yield of the herd is 1,750 gallons (7,955 litres)

• Peter started growing Maize 3 years ago under Plastic, for the previous 6 years Peter grew whole crop wheat for the cows

• Peter finds that with Maize he is getting more value out of an acre of ground and it is as good as wheat for keeping protein and yield up.

• Peter applies slurry to his Maize ground at approx 7000 gallons/ac reducing bagged fertiliser use.

• On pit management- Peter finds it is important to have a long narrow pit that is rolled well when filling. Peter also uses an additive to prevent secondary heating. e.g. Pioneer 11A44

• Peter grew 19 acres of Maize in 2011 and had a great yield of 23-25t/ac. This Peter attributes to a good site and the use of plastic.

• Milk solids have improved since the cows began eating Maize Silage.

• Peter finishes between 40 & 50 beef cattle and finds the Maize very good for finishing his cattle.

“I am very happy with maize since I started growing it and I will continue to grow it into the future”

Long Term Customer: John Dunne Co. Cork.
  • John milks a high yielding 100 cow dairy herd and finishes the beef progeny.
  • He uses a mainly grass based system but finds Maize an integral part of the diet for both his cows and beef cattle.
  • He has been growing Maize successfully for many years, but for the last two years he has changed to growing Maize under plastic with excellent results.
  • John’s 2011 results came back with an impressive Starch level of 34.5%,Dry Matter of 28.2% and Protein of 7.3% from his 24-28 Tonne crop of Benicia under plastic. (independently tested)
  • John comments “Plastic acts as an insurance policy to achieve quality Maize and I wouldn’t grow Maize without plastic any more”.
  • With high yielding cows (1400-1500 gallons) and an average Milk Protein of 3.5% and Butter Fat of 4.2%, John finds buffer feeding maize after calving in spring drives yield and maintains high solids.
  • “Maize is the perfect partner to spring grass”, John comments
  • Finishing cattle are also fed Maize in their diet. John finds the high quality Maize gives superb daily live weight gains and an increased kill out %.
  • As part of growing Maize with Southern Fuel and Farm Supplies, we take soil analysis. This determines the pH and nutrient level of the soil. From this we calculate what nutrients are needed to grow the Maize crop. We have done this on John’s farm over the years. John use on farm slurry/ manure to feed the crop, thus reducing the need for expensive bag fertilizer which John agrees is a big saving on costs. Finally, John says, “I am extremely happy with the quality of Maize under plastic and will be growing it again for the coming year”

To request this Southern Fuel & Farm Supplies Ltd brochure in full and for more information on Maize growing, PleasContact us 

For more agronomy information regarding seed variety, rate, herbicide, fungicide, insecticide and nutrients please contact our Team of experts as these change on an annual basis.