Harvesting maize© Tim Scrivener

Maize growers are being encouraged to combat compaction after harvest to improve soil conditions and prevent topsoil erosion.

Neil Groom, technical director for Grainseed, says even in dry conditions maize harvesters and trailers can leave a large footprint and firm the soil.

“That’s why growers need to rip the maize stubbles to remove compaction,” he says.

See also: Good start to maize harvest

“Pulling through a tine to open up the soil profile so that rain soaks in rather than flowing across the field and eroding topsoil is important,” he adds.

Mr Groom suggests growers would ideally follow with a crop of wheat or grass to help use nutrients as well as prevent soil erosion.

“However, if the field is returning to maize and you want to spread muck or slurry next spring then rip across the slope at regular intervals to reduce the length of slope that water can flow across and therefore reduce the energy and eroding capability of any run-off.”

Maize harvest continues to progress well across the country. Robert Parker, who samples for Farmers Weekly near Ticknall in Derbyshire, has started harvesting maize near the River Trent this week.

“It was a good crop and we are pleased to have the field chopped because it can flood. We still have 100t left from 2014, which we will keep feeding and allow the new crop to cure in the clamp. I have 60 acres of my own crop left to cut on land 150ft higher, but that looks 10 days away still.”