15 September 2000

Maize harvest looming on horizon

MAIZE harvest is rapidly approaching on good sites in the south, with starch levels increasing in crops in the past week and extremely early maturing varieties now having mealy starch in them.

The whole plant has started to dry down and dry matter of some extremely early maturing varieties tested this week were over 26%, says Neil Groom from Grainseed. These crops will need cutting in the next week to maximise silage quality if the weather is good.

Elsewhere, some fields are showing multiple cobbing or incomplete fertilisation where crops have been under stress during flowering. Both reduce starch content at harvest.

Average DM increase in the past week is 1% (see table). Dry matters at the two earliest sites have dropped slightly because of the crops vegetative nature.

However, warm weather last weekend will have moved crop DM on more quickly than the usual 2% a week and we can expect some crops to reach 28% this week. &#42

Maize harvest progress


Site Ht above sea Crop DM DM

level (m) Sept 8 increase

Petworth, Sussex 50 22.5% -1.2%

Harleston, Norfolk 50 20.3% -1.2%

Crediton, Devon 118 22.4% +2.4%

Ticknall, Derbys 67 18.9% +1.3%

Gelli Aur College, Dyfed* 23 18.7% +0.5%

Leyburn, N Yorks 107 17.2% -0.2%

Dumfries, Scotland* 45 19% +1.8%

* Variety Nancis, all other sites are Sophy.