A new app is now available that could help maize growers harvest at the optimum time and in turn maximise maize energy.
Maize Manager from Limagrain UK offers a guide in establishing when maize has reached the optimum dry matter content and is ready for harvest. The app can be downloaded to both mobile phones and tablet computers and used out in the field to provide on-the-spot advice. Once the crop starts ripening in September the app can be used to identify the best harvest date, according to Limagrain's Tim Richmond. "The app contains three simple steps; first cut through a kernel and determine the starch level by comparing it with the examples shown on the screen; next establish whether the cob and leafy plant proportions are equal in weight; and thirdly, cut a maize stalk just above the first node, wring it out and identify the moisture content using the guide in the app."
Through a series of yes/no questions the app asks the user about the disease profile of the crop, the weather forecast and also the level of rumen-bypass starch that is sought. This data is then used to determine when the maize crop should be harvested.
"The Maize Manager app is a practical tool of benefit for both maize growers and advisors," says Mr Richmond. "A mature maize cob accounts for 50% of both the energy and dry matter yield of a maize plant. When maize is harvested too early, it will not reach its full energy or yield potential because the starch levels have not fully accumulated in the cob."
Limagrain's Maize Manager app is available to download from the Apple store for iPhone and iPad, and from the Google play store for Android, or at www.maizemanager.co.uk.
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Watch a step by step video about assessing maize before harvest