QUEENSLAND and northern NSW maize growers are being encouraged to refer to the latest GRDC Maize GrowNotes for easy-to-use, best-practice advice to maximise profits.
In the northern region maize is recognised as a multipurpose, summer, cereal, grain and silage crop that is an effective rotational crop with legumes and cotton.
Nationally the maize industry is valued at $25–$35 million annually, depending on prices, area planted and yields, with an annual production of 350,000-450,000 tonnes. But at a global level it is the third most important cereal crop after wheat and rice.
In NSW, temperature largely determines where maize is grown with production areas stretching from the North Coast, to the Liverpool Plains and the North West Slopes. In Queensland the crop is grown on the Darling Downs, Central Highlands and in the Burdekin Irrigation Area.
Across both states maize is produced in 50 per cent dryland and 50pc irrigated settings.
GRDC senior manager north Jan Edwards said the latest research indicated getting fertiliser and watering rates right at critical growth stages were two of the key elements for maximising potential yields in maize.
“This Maize GrowNotes brings together the latest expert agronomic advice, trial results and industry best-practice recommendations for everything from pre-planting and fertiliser rates to irrigation, pest, diseases and weed management,” Ms Edwards said.
“As with so many crops timeliness of operations is essential to maximise quality and profit. So growers can use this GrowNotes as a tool to complement the advice of their agronomist and agronomists can use it to find out the latest research data."
She said growers could select what level of information they want to access – from the most basic to complex scientific research results - with plain-English reference notes linking to additional research and trial information.
“The GRDC has been investing in research, development and extension for 20 years and what we have done with GrowNotes is collate all that detail into one place for each crop,” Ms Edwards said.
“So we have comprehensive information that is now readily accessible to growers with specific information for individual regions and cropping environments.”
The latest Maize GrowNotes has sections on every phase of maize production from pre-planning and paddock selection right through to post-harvest storage and marketing.
“These digital publications have been user-tested with growers to ensure they are easy to understand, access and navigate so they save growers time searching for information and importantly they provide detail designed to aid effective on-farm decision making and help improve farm profitability,” Ms Edwards said.