11 September 1998

Maize crops DM target

AN acceptable dry matter increase of 2% a week is being achieved by most maize crops, particularly in the west.

Starch production and cob fill should easily be seen in most areas and some early crops will be at target harvest DM of 28-30% in two to three weeks time.

But Norfolks rainfall deficit means maize plants are continuing to draw moisture and DMs remain stationary, although starch is being laid down in grains.

Similar ground conditions or excess moisture on leaf material being tested are thought to be responsible for a decline in DM% at Yorkshires Castle Howard trials site.

According to the SACs Katherine Leach, despite initial reservations, crop potential at Crichton Royal, Dumfries, is encouraging: "Harvest will be late, possibly late October, but dry matter and starch should be acceptable. Use of plastic mulch has helped push maturity forward earlier in the season, with covered plots running seven to 10 days ahead of plots without plastic." &#42

Forage maize dry matter change

Site location DM% Aug 28 DM% Sept 3 Change on week %

Crediton, Devon 21.7 23.6 +1.9

Attleborough, Norfolk 21.5 21.5 –

Gelli Aur college, Dyfed 17.5 19.4 +1.9

Winchester, Hampshire 19.0 22.3 +3.3

Ticknall, Derbyshire 17.7 19.2 +1.5

Castle Howard, Yorkshire 16.3 15.9 -0.4

Dumfries, Scotland* 14.1 14.5 +0.4

*Variety Nancis – all other sites drilled with Sophy.