Watch the weather forecast carefully and try to harvest remaining maize crops before the first frosts to ensure maximum silage quality, advises Neil Groom, technical manager for Grainseed.

When plants get frosted the cell contents are lost, including sugars which contribute to overall silage digestibility. “When only the top two leaves are burnt off by frost it’s not too serious, but if there is a severe frost harvest immediately.”

Remaining monitor sites will all be harvested soon. Gelli Aur College has increased in DM by 6%, but following a drop last week the average increase is just over 2% a week, he adds. “Brian Metcalfe in Leyburn usually harvests between the 10 and 20 October and the crops look like they will fulfil this timetable.”

FW GRAINSEED FORAGE MAIZE HARVEST COUNTDOWN

Site Drill date Ht above sea level (m) Crop DM 5 Oct % Increase
Petworth, Sussex 10 May 50 Harvested
Harleston, Norfolk 3 May  30 29.3 + 0.9
Crediton, Devon 10 May 118 Harvested
Ticknall, Derbyshire 27 April  67 Harvested
Gelli Aur College, Dyfed* 10 May 23 26.8 + 6.2
Leyburn, N Yorks * 6 May 140 26.3 + 2.4
SAC, Dumfries, Scotland* 25 April 45 22.3  + 1.6

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Variety Nancis, all other sites are Soldier.