3 September 1999

Check now for early maize harvest

DRY matter has increased on five out of seven maize monitor sites by an average of 2%, so maturity is progressing at the normal rate over most of the country, writes Grainseeds Mike Warden.

However, in Dumfries and Derbyshire DM was lower due to wet conditions when samples were taken.

Drier weather last weekend, with a dry and warm forecast for most of this week, should see maturity advance at an increased rate.

Growers should now start checking crop maturity to ensure a rapidly maturing crop does not need harvesting earlier than anticipated.

As an indicator of how mature some crops are, several growers in the east and south will be harvesting mature crops in the week beginning Sept 6, with some high yields predicted.

Be aware that high summer rainfall in most of the UK has produced a big and green crop. This may not show signs of maturity in deterioration of leaves in the normal way. This can lead growers to mistakenly believe that the crop is immature but cobs could be over-mature, resulting in poorer use of starch produced through reduced starch breakdown when fed to stock.

Forage maize dry matter

change

Site DM% DM% Diff

Aug 19 Aug 26

Crediton,

Devon 16.8 18.6 +1.8

Harleston,

Norfolk 17.5 20.1 +2.6

Gelli Aur,

Dyfed 13.0 15.2 +2.2

Winchester,

Hampshire 18.0 20.8 +2.8

Ticknall,

Derbys 17.6 16.7 -0.8

Castle Howard,

Yorks 15.4 16.8 +1.6

Dumfries

*Scotland 14.2 13.9 -0.3

*Variety Nancis, others Sophy