28 December 2001

Higher yields claimed with staggered planting

A SYSTEM which allows closer row planting for forage maize, while still allowing sufficient space for plant development, has been introduced by Kverneland.

Higher yield and energy potential is claimed to be the result.

The firms Accord Optima drill has been modified to ensure that seeds planted in adjacent rows of just 37.5cm apart are accurately staggered to provide the required growing space.

"By using seeding discs with fewer holes and synchronising the seed drop, we can accurately place maize seeds along each row and also precisely control their position in relation to adjacent rows," says Kvernelands sales director George Randles.

Results from trials in Germany are said to have discovered that the system achieves better photosynthesis rates, promoting earlier ripening and better energy potential. Weed control is also claimed to be improved due to the earlier closing of the crop canopy.

With row widths half that of conventional planting there will be those who see harvesting problems which, with row-type maize headers there would appear to be.

Mr Randles suggests that with more growers using Kemper-type maize headers, there is no longer a need to be restrained to traditional row widths to suit harvesting machinery. &#42

Closer row widths with accurate staggering of seed placement could result in higher yields of forage maize, says Keverneland.