15 September 1995

Analysis – with the microwave

FORAGE maize dry matters can be determined in minutes using a microwave oven, says Mark Harrison of Leics-based Farmlab. He says:

lChop the maize into inch pieces and weigh in a pre-weighed container suitable for use in a microwave.

lPlace the sample in the microwave and cook on full power for about 4min/100g (based on a 650W microwave). Turn, stir and weigh every half minute. Beware – when the maize gets too hot it can catch fire.

lThe maize is dry when the weight between half minute sessions stays the same.

lThe final weight of the maize divided by its initial weight and multiplied by 100 gives the approximate percentage dry matter of the crop. &#42