Maize was grown on the same Clay-with-Flints site at Rothamsted for 14 years (1974–87) in an experiment which tested cumulatively all combinations of three rates of N fertilizer (50, 100 and 150 kg N/ha) and six agrochemical treatments (aldicarb, benomyl, dazomet, phorate, benomyl + dazomet + phorate and none). Permethrin and pirimicarb were also tested in 3 of the years. The crop was grown for forage from 1975 to 1987 and for grain from 1974 to 1976. With 150 kg N/ha, the average forage yield was 10·5 t dry matter/ha and there was no overall decline during the experiment; annual yields ranged from 5·9 to 14·5 t/ha. From 1975 to 1983, yields were on average 0·2 t/ha less with 100 kg N/ha and 1·0 t/ha less with only 50 kg N/ha than with 150 kg N/ha. The crop grown for grain in 1974 failed but in 1975 it gave 3·5, 3·6 and 3·8 t/ha with 50, 100 and 150 kg N/ha, respectively, and 3·3 t/ha in 1976 with all N rates. The cultivars grown, Cargill Primeur 170, Caldera 535 and Fronica, matured too late to ensure a grain harvest at Rothamsted.
Pests observed on the crop included nematodes of the genera Pratylenchus, Tylenchorhynchus and Tylenchus/Ditylenchus and initially some Heterodera avenae, the aphids Metopolophium dirhodum and Sitobion avenae, and frit fly (Oscinella frit). Common smut (Ustilago maydis) was the only fungus disease recorded and Microdochium bolleyi, possibly a minor pathogen, occurred on roots. There was no overall increase in the incidence of pests and pathogens during the experiment. Agrochemical treatments increased yields in all years; the most effective was the combined treatment with benomyl + dazomet + phorate which gave on average 1·4 t/ha more forage than the untreated crop with the largest N rate.
Forage yields were generally larger with sowing in early May rather than later and maturity was earlier in years with the most accumulated day-degrees.