15 October 1999

Fine spell sees maize harvest under way throughout UK

AFTER last weeks good weather, harvest pace has increased with crops being cut in all regions of the UK.

However, contractors and harvest teams are under pressure as growers are finding crops have over-mature cobs but very green plants. Growers in this position should harvest as soon as possible.

This situation becomes even more critical where crops have suffered frost damage causing rapid senescence of leaves and loss of green plant material. This leaves crops in danger of becoming too dry for good clamp consolidation and a possible increase in feed-out losses due to aerobic instability.

The mature cob on green plant situation is graphically displayed on the Devon site, with a green, digestible crop but with good cob maturity. The grower expects near record yields for his growing conditions.

The producer on the Harleston, Norfolk, site has now reassessed yields, and having under-estimated them by about 6t/ha (2.5t/acre), now has a final yield of 50t/ha (20t/acre). He has also sold some standing crop as all available storage space is full.

&#8226 Maize growers wishing to enter the new Milk and Meat from Maize Silage competition should do so soon – the closing date for registering is Oct 29. Entering is simple – just phone the Maize Growers Associations hotline (01225-337593) and leave your name, address and phone number.


Site Location DM% Oct 1 DM % Oct 8 Difference +/-

Crediton, Devon 26.1 28.1 +2.0

Gelli Aur College, Dyfed 23.3 24.1 +0.8

Ticknall, Derbyshire 24.8 Harvested

Castle Howard, Yorkshire 21.8 23.5 +1.7

Dumfries, Scotland 18.4 19.6 +1.2