Maize being harvested©FLP/Rex Shutterstock

Patience has paid off for maize growers around the country who have waited for full maturity.

Neil Groom, technical director for Grainseed, says the good weather this autumn has allowed the maize crops to properly mature, meaning growers who waited have clamped some good forage for the winter.

See also: Read last week’s Maize Watch report

Mr Groom says growers should now assess this year’s performance with their agronomist.

“The cold spring held growth back, although the weeds seemed to grow well, and early herbicide application was key to ensuring the maize was kept clean. It was also important to ensure the crop had available nutrients and some top dressing and micronutrient sprays worked well on fields where the nutrient status was on the lower side,” he says.

Simon Davies, sampling for Farmers Weekly in Carmarthenshire, is pleased with his crops this year considering the poor spring and low levels of sunshine over the summer.

“We had a wet harvest for combining and we are glad the autumn has been open since it has enabled the maize to continue to ripen. I think by next week we will have harvested all our maize as it reaches full maturity.”

Growers are reminded to analyse the maize after six weeks of sealed clamping to enable the ration to be balanced correctly and to repeat the testing every month as the silage matures in the clamp.

“It is also important to rip maize stubbles up to reduce the possibility of soil erosion from the field. Even where fields have been harvested in dry conditions, 15t trailers squash all the air out of the soil and seal the soil surface, causing the possibility of surface run-off,” says Mr Groom.

“A simple tine to lift up the soil will ensure that rain soaks in rather than run over the soil surface, picking up soil particles. The soil is your most valuable resource – don’t lose it,” he adds.

Maize harvest progress