Maize for Silage Growing and Harvesting Costs Calculator

Indicative Growing and harvesting costs

2021-22 Average Estimated Cost (exclusive of GST)

Enter your own growing & harvesting costs for the coming season in the 'My Costs' column. For help and notes on this table, refer to the 'Assumptions' section below.

To move to the next box, either push the tab key or click in the next box.

    Average costs ($/ha) My costs
Growing cost Average
My Farm
Cost of leased land ? ?
Soil test, other 10 10
Spraying out pasture (incl. glyphosate) 70 70
Lime @ 1.25 t/ha including cartage + application 130
Base fertiliser cost including application 320
Cultivation: to planting specifications1 380 380
Pioneer® brand P9911 maize seed @ 1.302 or 1.353 bags/ha 540 560
FAR maize seed levy ($8.00/80,000 kernels) @ 1.302 or 1.353 bags/ha 10 10
LumiGEN™ System L-400 Seed treatment @ 1.302 or 1.353 bags/ha 155 160
Starter fertiliser cost including application 190
Planting 170 170
Pre emergence weed control (herbicide + application) 100 100
Post emergence weed control (herbicide + application) 120 120
Sidedress application 90
Sidedress nitrogen 250
Interest on maize expenditure (7 months @ 5%) 70 50
Total growing cost $2,515 $1,630

Harvest costs
Harvesting and stacking 1080 1080
Covering 180 180
Pioneer ® brand 11C33 maize specific inoculant 350 350
Total harvest cost $1,610 $1,610
Total growing and harvest costs $4,125 $3,240

Expected yield and cost per unit
  Maize silage yield (tDM) in the stack
Maize silage cost per kgDM in the stack (c/kgDM)
Maize silage cost per MJME (c/MJME)

1Cultivation costs will vary depending on soil types and land class.
2Low fertility.
3High fertility.
4Registered trademark of BASF.


Maize silage drymatter costs

Recent research has shown that high fertility dairy farm paddocks, including those with a history of effluent application, may not require any additional fertiliser to be applied. Different yield environments also influence the recommended planting rate for Pioneer® brand maize silage hybrids.


The table below gives indicative maize silage costings for both high and low fertility maize silage growing environments. High fertility environments include dairy paddocks coming out of long-term ryegrass-clover pasture, as well as paddocks with a history of effluent application. Low fertility environments include run-out pasture paddocks and repeat cropping blocks. Always soil test maize paddocks and apply nutrients according to the results.


    1. Cost to grow, harvest and store the crop are estimates only.
    2. Average land rentals have not been included because of large regional variations (provision has been made for you to consider land rental in your own costing column).
    3. The costs and benefits of regrassing have not been included.
    4. Cost for Pioneer® brand 11C33 is based on inoculating a 22 tDM/ha crop.
    5. Farmers growing Pioneer® brand maize for silage for sale are usually responsible for costs up to and including the nitrogen sidedressing application.
    6. Maize silage cost per MJME assumes a maize silage energy content of 10.8 MJME/kgDM.
    7. The amount of pasture lost during the maize growing season will vary between paddocks, farms and districts. The value of pasture lost during the maize growing season has not been considered in the calculation of the maize silage drymatter cost.
    8. Costs are estimates based on a sample of contractor rates, other typical industry charges and product costs. All costs exclude GST and are indicative at 28 February 2021. See for updated costs. 

The information in this calculator is general in nature and is not intended to be a representation of actual costs. We do no accept any responsibility or liability (whether as a result of negligence or otherwise) for any loss of any kind that may arise from actions based on the contents of this calculator or otherwise in connection with the use of this calculator.