Maize or beet…are you growing on contract?

If you’re growing maize for another farmer, make sure you have a contract in place first. It is also wise to have a deposit at the beginning of the season.

Relationships between tillage and livestock farmers can be beneficial for both parties. Growing a forage crop can provide a break in the crop rotation and allow for some slurry or farmyard manure to be brought into the farm.

In turn, the livestock farm frees up more of their own land for grass and can export slurry if needed.

All farmers have their strengths and when a livestock farmer signs into a contract with a tillage farmer who they trust to grow a crop, like maize for example, they know that crop will be managed correctly. This takes pressure off the livestock farmer.

Knowing the price which will be paid for the maize crop and receiving a down payment early in the year can also help with cash flow and increase profit for the tillage farmer.

The down payment is essential. Maize is an expensive crop to establish and these costs need to be covered. Farmers need to be sure that they will not be left with a crop of maize if grass growth is strong during the year.

Teagasc has a sample contract available on its website which may offer guidance if you are thinking of growing the crop for someone, or asking someone to grow a forage crop for you.

Some details that should be included in the agreement are as follows:
  • The commencement and duration of the agreement;
  • Fee agreed per tonne;
  • Location of land where the crop will be grown;
  • Identify crop to be grown;
  • Identify soil samples from land the crop will be grown on;
  • Legal terms of agreement.

To see a full specimen agreement drawn up by Teagasc click here

Maize varieties

The 2020 maize recommended list was published by the Department of Agriculture in February. Click on the link below to get some information on the different varieties available.

Also Read: Maize list gets a shake up