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					MGA NEWSLETTER                                                                                           MARCH 2001
Hall Farm, Arborfield, Reading, Berks. RG2 9HX. Tel: 01189 761276 Fax: 01189 761451 E-mail:

                    MGA TIMES
  Getting ready for the maize crop
   Simon Draper                          Are you wasting money on unnecessary
  MGA Annual Maize Conference
   Report (if applicable)
                                         fertiliser applications?
  Errata to Maize Variety Book
                                         Nutrients available from a cow can be worth £70/year or more and 2 cows can
   letter & data from Simon
                                         supply enough nutrients for 1 ha of maize if used strategically. MGA has been
  Fax back MGA Research                 conducting trials looking at fertiliser requirements of the maize crop and some
   Report request form                   of the findings, particularly in relation to Phosphate requirements, could save
                                         members money.

MAIZE CONFERENCE                         Simon Draper has detailed this information in the enclosed technical note
Did you miss the Maize                   'Getting ready for the maize crop.'
Those who attended the MGA               We urge members to make use of the Nitrogen Predictor (data sheet was sent
Conference agreed that this was a        with your January mailing), and consider the value of the nutrients you already
beneficial and enjoyable day. If         have on your farm when calculating your fertiliser requirements.
you were unable to attend the
Maize Conference you will find a         A full copy of the Phosphate Use report to which Simon refers is available from
copy of the Conference Report,           the MGA Office on request.
which contains copies of all the
presented papers & includes a               PLEASE CONSIDER THE RESEARCH RESULTS AVAILABLE -
summary of all MGA R & D                              THEY COULD SAVE YOU MONEY
results of trials carried out last          MGA Promar International &
                                            Biotal, RESEARCH RESULTS                    Should any members require a
year, enclosed.                             Nickerson).                                 copy of the Whole Crop
                                                                                        Conference papers please either
Congratulations to                                                                      indicate this on the fax back
Richard Tomlinson,                          Full research reports
winner of the Milk &                                                                    request form or contact the office
                                            available to members
                                                                                        - these will be sent to members
Meat from Maize Silage                      The full research reports for each
                                                                                        BASIS charge. Please note that
                                                                                        free of POINTS AVAILABLE
Competition 2001                            of the MGA's R & D trials
                                                                                        non-members are charged the
Richard collected his prize of              undertaken last year (listed) are
                                                                                        delegate rate of £21 for their
£500 cash, the HSBC Agriculture             available to members on request.
perpetual trophy and enough                 A fax back request form is
additive to treat 500 tonnes of             enclosed with this mailing. A
maize silage at the Maize                   reminder of the R&D work results
Conference. Richard was the                 available follows:-                         MGA Conferences
                                             Effect of row width & seed rate on        qualify for Basis points
overall winner of the competition             the yield & quality of forage maize.
the final round of which was so              Use of Vaderstad drill to achieve the     Members who qualify for Basis
close that the difference between             correct row width & seed rate.            points can claim these if they
                                             Interaction between variety &             attended PAYMENTS MGA
                                                                                        ARABLE either of theUPDATE
Richard and the next score was
                                              applied nitrogen.
literally half a point! The runners          Interaction between starter fertiliser
                                                                                        Conferences.      Please contact
up were Bicton College of                     & nitrogen.                               Noelle at the office who will
Agriculture, Andrew Stevens who              Interaction of variety & drilling         advise you of the Basis reference.
farms in Lechlade, Jim Williams                       CROP
                                             Use of
who farms in Barnsley & David                Grain maize trials report.
Christensen who farms in Oxon.                                                          MGA continue to pursue
Many thanks again to the                                                                the Arable Area
Competition sponsors (HSBC                  Whole Crop Conference                       Payment issue
                                                                                        Update by Tim Gue (R & D Chairman)
Agriculture, Farmers Weekly,                a success
                                                                                        MGA representatives recently met
                                                                                        with the chairman of NFU Cereals
Committee to lobby for their          present and suffers similar            products, to justify the increased
support on maize area aid issues.     cutbacks in area aid, it was           cost. However, there will be
It was a useful meeting allowing      pointed out that if sweetcorn          conditions that may benefit by
both sides to put forward their       receives full area aid and is          increasing the trace element
positions.                            classed as a cereal, grain maize       availability, and should a problem
While the NFU is able to support      should be treated the same.            be persistent, protection of one or
our claim for full area aid for       The meeting with Ms Quin came          more trace elements could be
grain maize their position on         MINERALS
                                      about as a direct result of our        worthwhile.
forage maize remains firmly           close relationship with the
against merging the base areas, as    Environment Agency and the             Action
this would (slightly) reduce area     praise this 'partnership' has
payments for other arable crops.      received from all quarters             Ensure that your diets are
                                                                             adequately mineralised with
They favour pushing for a base                                               standard trace element sources.
area enlargement for maize - NFU                                             Where this involves adding a
members, please lobby them to         Are you supplying the                  mineral supplement daily, see that
ensure that they do push for this!                                           the specification is appropriate for
                                      correct minerals? -
                                      some advice regarding                  the diet fed, and the required
The following week MGA                                                       amount is fed every day.
representatives met with The Rt.      mineral choice from our
                                      Ruminant Consultant, Chris Savery
Hon Joyce Quin MP Minister of                                                Before moving to protected trace
State for Agriculture to discuss                                             elements, be clear as to what you
                                      What is being protected and
area payments and funding for a                                              are hoping to achieve and why.
                                      what is the benefit?
project on Sustainable Maize          Trace        elements       (copper,   Some      analysis    /     dietary
Drilling. The funding issue is        manganese, zinc, selenium and          assessment is desirable to support
being hampered by the fact that       iodine) are the main minerals to       the symptoms seen. Feeding more
the England Rural Development         be protected. They are protected       of the standard trace element
Board funds are only available for    (or chelated) by combining with        source may be as effective as a
local or regional projects not        organic       compounds       (often   protected source, and cheaper.
national ones. Ms Quin agreed         proteins     or amino acids).
that our projects were worthwhile     Chelation of trace elements is not     All members should have details
and will report back having           new, and indeed natural chelates       of the MGA range of minerals but
explored the funding issue.           occur. The main reason to protect      should MAIZE TOUR
                                                                             GRAINany member have a query
                                      trace elements is to increase the      with regard to mineral choice or
The Minister was sympathetic to       availability of the trace element to   specification, please do not
our position with regard to area      the animal. How this occurs is not     hesitate to contact me via the
payments for maize. It was            clear, but the organic form may be     MGA office.
pointed out that in some instances    metabolised differently. They are
the advantage some other EU milk      typically found under the names
producer's gain over us as a result   of      bioplexes,      metalosates,
of receiving full area payments       optimins, nutrisols and carbosans.     An interest in Grain
could be worth up to 0.5 pence a
litre!    She     expressed     her                                          Maize?
                                      Many ruminant production and           A small two-day tour to France to
frustration of a system that was      health problems are blamed on
based on history rather than                                                 look at grain maize is being
                                      ‘mineral deficiency’, and though       organised to take place in June.
looking to the future. She believes   there are clear cases of deficiency,
that the arguments for a larger                                              Numbers are very limited but if
                                      there are possibly as many             WINTER TOUR 2001
base area are sound, but it has                                              you are interested in attending
                                      concerns         over       mineral    this tour, please contact the office
never been done before. It is         interactions. Most of these can be
unlikely that any changes will be                                            for further details. Places will be
                                      corrected with standard sources of     allocated strictly on a first come,
allowed in the short term,            additional minerals.
however EU enlargement could                                                 first served basis.
offer an opportunity to argue the     There have been, and are a wealth
case. This is due to happen in two    of claims for the benefits of trace
years time so we must continue to     element protection in ruminants
lobby this issue. Please help us by                                          Your views would be
                                      (improved production, fertility,
writing to your MP about this; it     reduced mastitis and lower SCC
will get to Ms Quin.                                                         Two     countries  have been
                                      in particular). In most cases there
                                                                             suggested for the MGA's Winter
                                      is     insufficient    independent
Grain maize falls into the same                                              Tour this year Holland and
                                      evidence for the use of protected
category as forage maize at                                                  Southern Ireland.    We would
                                      trace elements in standard mineral
                                                                             appreciate members' views as to
where you feel a tour would be
most beneficial before proceeding
with arrangements. Please contact
Noelle at the MGA Office (Tel:
01189 761276 or Fax: 01189

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