The Maize Growers Association (MGA) was formed in 1988 by a group of farmers who identified a need for research and development of the maize crop to improve farm business profits. Wholecrop silage production was added to this remit in the mid 1990`s by growers keen to independently evaluate the options for this very versatile crop either as a complement or alternative to maize silage. Further expansion of the MGA portfolio occurred with the increase in popularity of grain maize production and more recently maize silage for Biogas production. The MGA is independently run `by growers for growers`. With the farmer led R&D committees commissioning research on maize and wholecrop agronomy, nutrition and environmental issues. The results are quickly transferred to members through monthly mailings, demonstration sites, with replicated trials on member`s farms, conferences and study tours. MGA members also have `free` telephone access to two agronomists and our nutrition consultant.
Our mission statement identifies the associations aim is:
'To be the foremost provider of information in the field of maize and wholecrop production and utilisation with the ultimate objective of increasing the profits of farmer members of the MGA'
We attempt to meet this aim via the office team and our contracted specialists.
The MGA is run by a Farmer led committee (Council of Management) of members who meet regularly to set policy and identify information needs. The councils requests are put into practice by the MGA team who work out of a dedicated farm based office in Devon.
The key method of transfer of information is via our regular mailings in the distinctive yellow MGA envelopes. The association also run subject specific farm meetings as well as our annual conference at which the results of MGA and other organisation research is presented to members.
The MGA retain two nationally recognised specialists to provide technical back up to members as well as the MGA office team.
- Simon Draper a nationally recognised agronomist and soils specialists provides advice on the growing and management of maize and wholecrop for all its uses. Simon is home based in Suffolk and is supported by his colleague Ruth Naudé.
- Professor Mike Wilkinson is the association's nutrition consultant and like Simon can be contacted via the MGA office. Mike provides members with independent advice of the use of their crops when fed to livestock.
The MGA office team made up of John Morgan and Jean Howard run the administration of the Association as well as providing technical advice and material.
The MGA has and continues to cultivate a network of national and international contacts with the aim of providing the very best information to the membership.