Good weather a couple of weeks ago continues to affect drying in maize crops around the country, believes Neil Groom, Grainseed technical manager.

The combined influence of sun and heat at the turn of the month triggered crops to dry rapidly and all sites are now approaching harvest.

A possible threat to crops reaching full maturity is an early frost. “When it is only the top of the plant, then don’t panic, but when all leaves are frosted, then the crop needs chopping quickly and an additive used to maximise feed quality.”

The plant cells explode when frozen and the cell sugars are lost, so starch content will not increase if the crop is left in the field, and moulds and yeasts will grow on the dead tissue if left, adds Mr Groom.

 

Maize crops progress

Site

Drill date

Ht above sea level (m)

Crop dry matter 24 September

Increase from last week

Petworth, Sussex

13 May

50

Harvested

Harleston, Norfolk

3 May

30

29.7

+ 2.7

Crediton, Devon

28 April

118

24.9

+ 1.8

Ticknall, Derbyshire

2 May

67

27.3

+ 2.1

Poyerston, Pembroke *

8 May

20

29.9

+ 3.6

Leyburn, North Yorkshire *

10 May

140

22.9

+1.5

SAC, Dumfries, Scotland*

6 May

45

26.5

+ 4.1

* Variety Nancis, all other sites are Agreement