Teagasc Crop Report

Forage Crops

Forage Crops

Wednesday 11th March 2020
(Updated Thursday 18th June 2020)
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Maize

Maize

Maize is a high energy forage that is used in dairy and beef enterprises. Much of the maize crop is grown by livestock producers for consumption by their own stock but there is a market for maize produced by crop growers for subsequent sale to livestock producers.

Tillage farmers growing maize should ensure that they have an agreement in place with the end user before sowing takes place. The agreement should outline details on tonnes/hectares to be delivered, quality and payment details. Further information on contract forage agreements is available here

In recent years there has been a large swing to growing covered maize with an estimated 90% of the crop now grown under plastic. This has resulted in more consistent yield with the control yields from the DAFM variety trials (2017-2019) yielding 18.6t of dry matter /ha with a starch content of 23.2% and 38.7% dry matter.

Table 1. Area of maize (ha) 2015-2019.
Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Ha 12763 10819 11793 17311 16225

The Maize Guide is available here

 

 

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Fodder Beet

Fodder Beet

Fodder beet is a high energy forage that can be grazed in situ or harvested, stored and fed to livestock. Dry matter yields in excess of 18t DM/Ha are achievable. Generally low dry matter varieties will have a larger percentage of the root over ground and are suitable for grazing in situ whereas high dry matter 'sugar beet' type varieties will have a higher percentage of the root underground are harvested, and are capable of high dry matter yields per hectare. 

The area of fodder beet has remained relatively stable in recent years at ~10,000ha.  

Table 1: Fodder Beet Area 2015-2019
Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Ha 9562 9423 9905 10981 9635

 

Tillage farmers growing fodder beet should ensure that they have an agreement in place with the end user before sowing takes place. The agreement should outline details on tonnes/hectares to be delivered, quality and payment details. Further information on contract forage agreements is here

Figure 1: Fodder beet is capable of producing high yields of dry matter per ha 

 

 

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