Maize crops have ‘jumped out of the ground’ since June

After a slow start up to June 1, maize crops have caught up now having “jumped out of the ground”, according to John Foley of Maizetech.

What used to be a knee-height crop of maize reached shoulder height by July 4, Foley said.

He expects the first of the early crops to be harvested by the end of September, just after the National Ploughing Championships.

Maize crops are looking extraordinarily well.

“Weed control is very good and there has been no problems with plastic breakdown reported.

“Maize has tasseled earlier this year; the first of the crops had tasseled by July 12-15. The earlier the better  in terms of higher grain yield,” he said.

“Last year was an excellent year; crops were yielding 7.5t/ac and up to 8t/ac in some cases. This year is looking as good, if not better,” Foley said.

However, he added that he didn’t want to be counting chickens before they hatched.

Improvement in varieties

Speaking with AgriLand, Foley commented on the improvement he has seen in maize varieties in the last 10 years. “There are better varieties now – more consistent,” he said.

P8200 is one of the best-performing varieties at the moment, according to Foley. The early-maturing, high-yielding variety has been around four years now and is still very consistent, he said.

In addition to P2800, Foley said the Justina variety is looking remarkably well this year as well.

maize crops

Maizetech – based in Bunclody, Co. Wexford – sells nationwide and, according to Foley, there are only a few counties in Ireland not growing maize.

Site suitability is key when it comes to maize, Foley said. “Leinster would probably be one of the better areas for maize crops. A lot is grown up in the North also and not all for animal feed.

“There are increasing amounts grown for anaerobic digestion now,” Foley added.

The Maizetech founder believes 90-95% of Ireland’s maize is now grown under plastic. However, he explained that this year’s heat and rain has provided perfect conditions for uncovered crops on suitable sites.