Rangitikei farmers Brendon and Rachel Williams have been growing maize grain for the past 20 years as part of a diversified livestock finishing and arable system. In 2020 the couple were finalists in the Ballance Farm Environmental Awards scooping both the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management and the Massey University Innovation Awards.
A family farm with a rich history in maize cropping is showing no sign of slowing down its supply of maize for grain and silage to local farmers.
His introduction to the world of crop growing began back in 1974 when he was a contractor with a combine harvester. Then, eight years later, the opportunity came along to buy his family farm near Marton which was a livestock finishing operation that also grew wheat, barley and maize. After a few years it became obvious to Paul that maize was a more consistent crop to grow year on year and the returns were better than wheat or malting barley. “I just really enjoyed the challenge of growing good maize and still do.”
An interest in organic farming, combined with a desire to build a livestock business where he had control from paddock to plate, led Hawke's Bay farmer Ben Bostock to establish Bostock's organic free range chicken.
Maize grain has provided Rangitikei growers Brendon and Rachel Williams with the opportunity to generate reliable returns, without the workload associated with their previous crop, potatoes.
Corn-fed chicken is a wonderful success story for Turk's Poultry Ltd and the maize grain that feeds their birds represents a significant market opportunity for lower North Island growers.
A Pioneer® brand 37Y12 strip trial yield of 17.92 t/ha made maize grower Stewart Glasgow the Lower North Island winner of the 2009 Pioneer® brand seeds Maize for Grain Yield Competition.
Maize is an integral part of the farming operation for Manawatu-based Mirawai Farms. This 170 ha mixed enterprise located at Kopane in the Manawatu is a family farm co-owned by brothers Stephen and Roger Voss, their wives Betty and Linda and parents Basil and Fay. Stephen and Roger have been on the farm all their lives and, while land has been added over the years, the original block was purchased by their grandfather in 1913.
Simon and Cherie Campbell, twins William and Sophia (14 months) and baby Millie (7 weeks) are in partnership with Simon's parents Duncan and Mary Campbell in a mixed cropping and livestock operation at Opiki near Palmerston North.
Maize for grain is the first choice crop for Manawatu farmer David Dempsey because it generates an income without needing hands on day-to-day involvement.
Diminishing returns from growing small cereal crops in the Rangitikei had Patrick O'Neill seeking an alternative and more lucrative crop to grow four seasons ago.
Brian and Geoff Hill have the bases covered with their farming business involving both cropping and livestock operations. The Hills began farming at Rongotea 30 years ago and over time have expanded the farm there to 160 ha. Fifteen years ago the decision was made to expand the cropping side of the business by purchasing an 80 ha cropping farm at Kopane, some 10 km west of Palmerston North.
Once a sideline crop to keep equipment operating over quieter months, maize is now the major source of income for Manawatu contractors, Fleming Brothers Agricultural Contracts. The business now incorporates land ownership, planting and growing contracts, grain drying and marketing to end users.
Turning to maize growing has provided a perfect fit for Dean McManaway and his contracting business in Hunterville. He purchased a block of land three years ago at Okirae on the Whangaehu River. With 30 minutes travelling time from home at Hunterville it meant Dean needed a crop that did not need to be checked constantly for pests and problems.
Tourism and maize are unlikely partners in a business venture reaping rewards for Marton farmers Andy and Beth Watson. With over a quarter of their 400 hectare property in maize the Watson's have had 10 seasons growing Pioneer hybrids and meeting the quality standards of Tegel and Turks Poultry.
© 2022 Genetic Technologies Limited