Maize grain frequently asked questions

What hybrid should I grow?

Pioneer has the most extensive range of proven hybrids in all regions and growing environments. To determine the best hybrid for your growing environment.

Click here to use our hybrid selector.

How do I maximise the yield from my crop?

There are a few practical steps to follow to ensure your yield is maximised. These are outlined in our 338 Maize Grain Technical Insight..

Maize Grain Technical Insight 338.

How do I establish a market for my grain?

Contact your local grain merchant to establish a grain marketing plan. Your merchant will help you to decide which market to produce grain for. Once you’ve determined the grain end-use, your local Pioneer Area Manager can work with your merchant to determine the best Pioneer® brand maize hybrids to plant.

How is grain traded?

Grain is normally traded on a dry (14% moisture) tonne basis. Speak to your local grain merchant regarding this opportunity.

How do I know when my crop is ready to be harvested?

Monitoring of the grain moisture content during the "dry-down" phase will enable timely harvest to be undertaken. "Ideal" grain moisture content at harvest is generally considered to be between 22-24%. Usually your merchant representative can help with crop moisture monitoring.

Harvest practices should attempt to minimise the amount of soil compaction in the cropping area. Selecting laneways throughout the paddock will limit compaction damage. The laneways can then receive special cultivation treatment to overcome any compaction if considered necessary.

Care in handling of grain is important. The aim is to maintain the integrity of each kernel. Excessively chipped and cracked grain may carry payment penalties. Ensure all augers are well maintained and unload grain onto grain when filling bulk bins. Grain stored in bulk bins awaiting transport should be protected from rain.

What is the best use of my land in between maize crops?

Several land use options are available in the period between maize crops. Some growers choose to leave the area “fallow” over the winter period. Ideally the stubble should be shredded and the area shallow cultivated (normally using discs or power-harrow) to incorporate the stubble to the extent of approximately 50% into the soil. This practice promotes the rapid break-down of the stubble which in turn reduces the likelihood of fungal disease carry over to the next crop.

In warmer areas, Italian ryegrass and/or oats can be planted into the cultivated stubble mix. The root system of these plants offer an excellent source of carbon which will assist in maintaining the organic matter content of the soil.

Winter ryegrass and oat crops can be harvested as silage prior to cultivation being undertaken for the next springs maize crop. Many growers spray the Italian ryegrass and/or oats with glyphosate prior to harvesting the silage to save time.

A third option for warmer areas is to direct drill an Italian type ryegrass through the crop stubble into the soil. The ryegrass may then be lightly grazed at appropriate intervals by stock. It is desirable to remove stock from the paddocks when ground conditions are wet to avoid treading damage and compaction of the cropping soil. At all cost avoid using the maize cropping area as a “stand-off pad” for dairy herds.